Nurse well-being is paramount to patient safety. Hospitals that invest in medical error prevention strategies, infection control measures, and of other measures to reduce the risk of injuries to patients, would also do well to invest in the well-being of their nursing staff as well.
According to new data, nurse well-being has a significant impact on patient outcomes in the hospital. The study was conducted by a team at Kaiser Permanente. The researchers were specifically looking at whether nurses were much better off and had better feedback about their work environment at Kaiser hospitals and Magnet status hospitals, which invest in nursing well-being.
The researchers asked nurses questions about a number of issues, including their level of satisfaction with their work environment, education levels, job satisfaction and the number of patients that they typically attended to in a single day.
Of the 550 hospitals that were studied, 25 were Kaiser Permanente hospitals and 156 were Magnet hospitals. The researchers found that the Kaiser Permanente and Magnet status hospitals achieved comparable outcomes, and also recorded much better patient as well as nurse outcomes compared to all of the other hospitals in the study. Mortality rates were 20% lower in Magnet status and Kaiser Permanente hospitals. According to the researchers, much of the credit for those lower mortality rates should go to the quality of the nursing staff at these hospitals.
Overall, the researchers found that these hospitals invested significantly in making the hospital a place where nurses would want to work. These hospitals boasted of a better working environment, a better nurse/patient ration, and more dedicated nurses. Nurses at Magnet status hospitals were likely to have Bachelors of Nursing degrees, compared to nurses in other hospitals that were likely to have lower level diplomas. Additionally, in these hospitals, nurses took a more proactive role in making decisions for patients, and the hospitals made it easier for nurses to perform their jobs optimally.
While it is too simplistic to assume that a happy nurse is a safe nurse, clearly the research reveals that facilities that ensure their nurses are better trained and happier with their work situations provide better care to the patients in under their care. Looking for care in facilities that have earned Magnet status is a good placed to start when looking for a safer place to receive medical care.
The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured as a result of medical negligence across Indiana. Contact them today.