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Insufficient staffing levels for nurses can lead to an increase in hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), according to research from the Columbia University School of Nursing.
Researchers studied data collected at a large urban hospital system between 2007 and 2012. Using a Cox proportional-hazards regression model, investigators looked at the association between nurse staff levels (two days before the onset of HAI) and potential outbreaks.
“Fifteen percent of patient-days had one shift understaffed, defined as staffing below 80% of the unit median for a shift, and 6.2% had both day and night shifts understaffed,” the researchers found. “Patients on units with both shifts understaffed were significantly more likely to develop HAIs two days later.”
Financial Disclosure: Author Greg Freeman, Editor Jonathan Springston, Editor Jill Drachenberg, Nurse Planner Jill A. Winkler, BSN, RN, MA-ODL, Consulting Editor Patrice Spath, MA, RHIT, Editorial Group Manager Leslie Coplin, and Accreditations Manager Amy M. Johnson, MSN, RN, CPN, report no consultant, stockholder, speaker’s bureau, research, or other financial relationships with companies having ties to this field of study.