Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the relationship between nursing workload and patient mortality.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the relationship between nursing workload and length of hospital stay.
Methods: The design of this study was a longitudinal study with a national survey. Thirty five hospitals were randomly selected from a national list of hospitals in Taiwan. Indicators for nursing workload included work intensity and hours per patient day. The outcome indicators were patient mortality and patient’s length of hospital stays. Data were collected from three to six nursing units among selected hospitals for consecutive three months. Total of 117 nursing units involved in the data collection. Data were analyzed with regression for patient mortality and patient’s length of hospital stay as the dependent variables.
Results: The average hours per patient day was 2.3 hours (SD = 0.52) for medical and surgical units. Patients to nurse ratio for day shift was 7.7 patients per nurse (SD = 1.75), evening shift was 12.3 (SD = 2.85), and night shift was 15.7 (SD = 3.63). The average patient ‘s length of stay was 6.6 days (SD = 2.48). Factors associated with patient mortality included work intensity (b = -0.449; p < .05), patient acuity (b = 0.624; p < .05), activity of daily living (b = -0.006; p < .05) and hours per patient day (b = -6.247; p < .05). When hours per patient day were increased, the patient mortality rate would be decreased. Patient’s length of hospital stay was associated with work intensity (b = 0.181, p < .05) and occupancy rate (b = 0.474, p < .05).Conclusion: Nursing workload significantly impact on patient mortality and length of hospital stay.
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