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Patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are less likely to die in hospitals with more RNs on staff than in hospitals with fewer RNs, according to yet another study linking better RN staffing to better patient outcomes.


Researchers surveyed records of 118,940 Medicare patients who were hospitalized following AMI. Besides RN staffing levels, researchers accounted for such factors as patient clinical and demographic characteristics, hospital volume and teaching status, nursing skill mix, and quality of care.


After adjusting the data for conflicting variables, researchers found a significant association between nurse staffing and patient mortality. Researchers suggest that hospital administrators, when seeking to increase efficiency, should carefully examine the effect of reducing nurse staffing before taking that step.




"Nurse Staffing and Mortality for Medicare Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction," Medical Care, S. Person, et al., January 2004.