Study: Higher Nurse Staffing Levels Can Reduce Infection Rates

A new study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative and published in Medical Care reveals hospitals with higher staffing levels in both intensive care units and non-intensive care units improve patient outcomes, according to a news release from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Mary Blegen, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor in Community Health Systems and director of the Center for Patient Safety at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing led an interdisciplinary team that reviewed data from the University HealthSystem Consortium, which included details on 1.1 million adult patients.


The researchers found that staffing levels were similar in safety net and non-safety net hospitals, but patient outcomes were worse in safety-net hospitals.


In non-safety net hospitals, higher nurse staffing rates and a larger number of registered nurses were associated with fewer deaths due to congestive health failure; fewer incidents in which nurses did not note or initiate treatment in life-threatening situations; lower rates of infection, including infection after operations; and fewer patients who were required to stay in the hospital for longer than expected, according to the release.


Read the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative news release about the study of nurse staffing levels.


Read more about infection prevention:


- Unannounced Follow-Up Visit From FDA Confirms MO's University Hospital Improved Infection Control Practices


- 9 Steps for a Tuberculosis Infection-Control Program


- 8 Ways to Reduce Surgical Site Infections for Total Joint Replacement Patients With Comorbidities

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