Demanding safe staffing levels to ensure quality nursing care

Is ‘‘failure to rescue’’ derived from administrative data in England a nurse sensitive patient safety indicator for surgical care? Observational study

Background: 'Failure to rescue' - death after a treatable complication - is used as a nursing sensitive quality indicator in the USA. It is associated with the size of the nursing workforce relative to patient load, for example patient to nurse ratio, although assessments of nurse sensitivity have not previously considered other staff groups. This study aims to assess the potential to derive failure to rescue and a proxy measure, based on long length of stay, from English hospital administrative data. By exploring change in coding practice over time and measuring associations between failure to rescue and factors including staffing, we assess whether two measures of failure to rescue are useful nurse sensitive indicators. Design: Cross sectional observational study of routinely collected administrative data. Participants: Discharge data from 66,100,672 surgical admissions to 146 general acute hospital trusts in England (1997-2009).

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Journal: International Journal of Nursing Studies 50 (2013) 292-300

Authors: Peter Griffiths, Simon Jones, Alex Bottle

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