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Overworked Nurses Linked to 40% Increase in Risk of Patient Death

Overworked Nurses Linked to 40% Increase in Risk of Patient Death

When nurses’ workload exceed “optimal” levels, the chances of a patient safety incident increased by up to roughly 30 percent and the chances of patient mortality spiked by around 40 percent, according to a study published in BMJ Open. The researchers gathered data from 36 units in four Finnish hospitals with information on nursing workload, staffing, patient safety incidents and mortality rates. The data was collected daily over one year.

Depending on the type of patient safety incident, when nursing workload exceeded the “optimal” level, the risk of incident increased by 8 percent to 32 percent; the risk of patient mortality increased by 43 percent if workload exceeded this level. The study revealed when workload dropped below that level, leaving nurses with more time to care for patients, the risks of a safety incident was approximately 25 percent lower.

“We found evidence that a staffing measure based on daily measurements of individual patient care needs and the recommended nursing workload is slightly better in predicting incidents and mortality rates, as compared to the standard patient-to-nurse ratio,” the study authors wrote.

One thing seems to be clear: If your healthcare facility is facing a nursing shortages and burnout then you are putting patients at risk.

For assistance in alleviating your nurse staffing ailments, speak with PassportUSA today.

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