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Canadian researchers studied 46,993 patients admitted to 75 hospitals with myocardial infarctions, stroke, pneumonia, and septicemia. They also surveyed 3,886 nurses (an average of 52 from each hospital) and collected discharge data, mortality rates, population statistics, and insurance plan data.

  
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Death rates within the first 30 days of admission to the hospital varied considerably among the 75 hospitals, researchers discovered. When they considered the effect of 19 variables on mortality rates, they found that nurse staffing and several other factors accounted for 45% of the variation. For example, a 10% increase in employment of RNs was associated with six fewer deaths per 1,000 discharged patients. Among other findings:

 

* a 10% increase in staffing and resources (as reported by nurses) was associated with 17 fewer deaths per 1,000 discharged patients

 

* a 10% increase in employment of nurses with baccalaureate degrees was associated with a decrease in mortality of 9 patients per 1,000 discharged

 

* a 10% increase in the use of care maps or protocols (as reported by nurses) was associated with 10 fewer deaths per 1,000 discharged patients.

 

 

Source

 

Tourangeau AE, et al., Impact of hospital nursing care on 30-day mortality for acute medical patients, Journal of Advanced Nursing, January 2007.