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.”