Nurse Staffing – Time for a Change in Thinking

There was another interesting article from HealthLeaders Media that the nurse staffing factoring specialists at PRN Funding felt would be beneficial for our nurse staffing friends to read. Entitled Nurse Staffing Costs Must Be Weighed Against the Cost of Errors, the article author believes that hospital executives need to pay closer attention to studies that show how nurse staffing affects a hospital’s overall performance and base staffing decisions on those findings.

Kathy Douglas, MHA, RN, president of the Institute for Staffing Excellence and Innovation, CNO of API Healthcare, and a board member of the journal Nursing Economic$ was quoted in the article saying: “Staffing costs sit in one part of the budget, so we think of the results there. Then the cost of errors sits in another part of the budget. If I could say one thing to healthcare executives it is to make staffing a top strategic priority in your organization. If you look at top priorities-LOS, safety, quality-all of these things have direct links to staffing.”

Moreover, Douglas gave an example of looking at things from a bigger perspective. She said that some hospitals that have cut back on staffing may not notice that it is overusing overtime and it might not notice that there’s a relationship between the overtime and the number if infections on a unit.