Study reports effects of state nurse staffing ratios — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Study reports effects of state nurse staffing ratios

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The nonprofit California HealthCare Foundation (CHF) has concluded that California’s minimum nurse-to-patient requirement has had little direct effect on the quality of care.

The goal of the minimum staffing ratios, implemented in 2004, was the improvement of patient outcomes. However, the authors of a CHF study noted, “Most of the quality measures analyzed for this study do not appear to have been directly affected by the increase in RN staffing” and “only a few interviewees felt the ratios had resulted in such an improvement.”

The study found that California’s first-in-the-nation ratios led to higher employment of licensed nurses in most California hospitals.

Hospital executives interviewed for the study reported it was difficult to meet the requirement of the ratios law. According to the report, “interviewees said they want some flexibility in applying the ratios.”

“The lack of flexibility was singled out as the reason hospitals have trouble remaining in compliance, since it is expensive and challenging to maintain the mandated ratios at all times and in all contingencies, such as days when too many nurses call in sick,” the report added.

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