Nurse Staffing Levels, Safety Net Status Both Factors In Patient Outcomes
A new study finds that higher nurse staffing levels can lead to better patient outcomes. However, the study also found this to not always be the case at safety net hospitals. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Mirror reports on hospitals' efforts to reduce readmissions. And, in other news, new research has found that patients are less likely to fill prescriptions when doctors specify brand names instead of allowing generic substitutions.
Modern Healthcare: Study Of Nurse Staffing Levels Finds Safety Net Status Also A Factor
Higher levels of nurse staffing can lead to better patient outcomes, but not necessarily in safety net hospitals, according to a report published in Medical Care, a journal of the American Public Health Association. In a study funded by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation's Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, researchers examined discharge records for 1.1 million patients in 872 units - including 285 intensive-care units - at 54 University HealthSystem Consortium hospitals and looked for a relationship between patient outcomes and the hours of nursing care patients received (Robeznieks, 3/27).
The Connecticut Mirror: Hospitals Working To Keep Patients From Coming Back
Ever since [Frank] Silva got out of the hospital in January, part of [Gina] Corraccio's job as a visiting nurse has been to stay on top of his health. Silva, 87, has diabetes and unstable angina, and in the past year, had been something of a regular hospital patient, getting admitted for inpatient care every couple months. ... The effort to keep Frank Silva out of the hospital is part of a large-scale move to change the way patients are cared for after discharge. ... Nationally, more than one in four Medicare patients hospitalized for heart failure were back in the hospital within 30 days of being discharged, according to a study of 2003 and 2004 data published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009 (Levin Becker, 3/25).
Reuters: Fewer Fill 'Dispense As Written' Prescriptions
Patients are less likely to fill prescriptions when their doctors specify that brand name drugs can't be substituted with generics, according to a new study. Along with leaving patients without their medications, the practice could be costing the health system almost $8 billion a year, the authors of the study in the American Journal of Medicine calculated (Pittman, 3/25).