Nursing impact on 30-day re-admission

This post is part of “The Nursing Ideas Challenge” a call for nurses to commit setting aside time to learn and to share what they have learned.

The Article:

Hospital nursing and 30-day readmission among medicare patients with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia

Big Idea:

Generally a health work enivonrment, lower nure patient ratios and more educated nurses are expected to improve care. This paper looks at the evidence of how the hospital environment (workplace culture, patient-to-nurse-ratio, and proportion of nurses with a BSN) effect patient care.

Evidence: The authors used data from California, New Jursey and Pennsylvania, which collect outcomes measure on patient with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction and pneumonia. This data was paired with mailed out surveys to nurses (>78,000 were completed), and the information was matched to their organizations (California=210, Pennsylvania=134, New Jersey=68).


Preventable hospital readimmission costs Medicare $15 Billion annually.

Only 52% of hospital staff were confident their patients could manage their own care when discharged.

This table or reasons for readmission was interesting to look at:

McHugh MD Ma C Top Reasons for Reamission

So What?

This research is an important piece to add to the pile supporting the savings that nurses make. Investing in the  nursing work environment could provide measurable impact for the healthcare system. As nurses we need to be aware of this evidence and use it at the table when discussion of changing nursing staff ratios or making the case for investing in workplace improvements for staff.

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