Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
In an article from Australia by Twigg et al. (2015) titled 'The impact of understaffed shifts on nurse-sensitive outcomes', the authors claim that it does. They define nurse sensitive outcomes as 'adverse patient outcomes that can be used as indicators of the quality of nursing care' and they conducted a secondary analysis of data on a sample of over 30,000 admissions over two years. The outcomes studied were: surgical wound infection, urinary tract infection, pressure injury, pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, upper gastrointestinal bleed, sepsis and physiological metabolic derangement. In all cases understaffing had an adverse impact. These findings are very important and the authors are looking to expand the outcomes that could be linked to understaffing; in their own words: 'The methods developed for this study could be used to add other variables of interest at the patient level, for example patient turnover or nurse skill mix, to aid understanding of nurse staffing and the context of care and their impact on patient outcomes.'
Listen to this post as a podcast:
Twigg DE, Gelder L, Myers H (2014) The impact of understaffed shifts on nurse-sensitive outcomes Journal of Advanced Nursing doi:10.1111/jan.12616