Moving Patient Care Quality Forward by Benchmarking Nursing Care Performance

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 4:30 PM

Huey-Shys Chen, PhD, RN, MCHES, FAAN
School of Nursing, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA
Yue Zhang, PhD
Department of Information Operations & Technology Management, College of Business and Innovation, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA


Nursing’s influence on patient safety and healthcare outcomes have led to increased interest in benchmarking nursing care performance; however, there is a lack of research in healthcare literature that addresses both patient care quality and operational efficiency in the same study. The purpose of this proposed study is to benchmark nursing care performance and discover patient care quality deficiencies and operational deficiencies across acute care nursing units at one community hospital in Ohio.


This study was conducted at 3 units of a community hospital. A mixed method study design comprised of two phases used in this study. Phase I conducted performance evaluation on National Database of Nursing Care Quality indicators (NDNQ) data from 3rd quarter of 2011 to 4th quarter of 2015 units by using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology. Input indicators included total nursing hours, turnover, while falls, pressure ulcer, CAUTI, pain, and patient Days were considered output indicators. Focus group interviews with 12 nurses and 3 mangers were conducted at Phase II. The content analysis method was used to analyze the transcripts of the interviews.


An efficiency score for each nursing unit in each quarter was obtained by the DEA. Research results showed that the average efficiency score ranged from 0.90-0.95 (mean=.93) for 3 units and the Med-Surg/Ortho unit has the highest average efficiency score out of the three nursing units. In addition, results had benchmarked nursing care performance and identified patient care quality deficiencies and operational defines across 3 nursing units. It has fostered the development of unit-specific strategies to improve patient care quality and operational efficiency.


The research framework and the DEA method are valuable for performance evaluation at health care setting. The results of this study are able to provide unit managers and nurses’ directions for improvement and sharing the best practices across healthcare organizations. Furthermore, the outcome of this research project is able to provide the best practices to other healthcare organizations.