Study finds Americans want more RN care

American consumers want registered nurses not unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) to deliver bedside patient care in acute care facilities, according to a recent survey commissioned by the American Nursing Association (ANA) in Washington, DC. Of the more than 1,000 consumers surveyed, 75% reported that they believe reducing the number of RNs who provide bedside care in hospitals lowers the quality of care.

Many of the survey responses hold clues for case managers about what consumers most value in terms of their health benefits and health care delivery systems. Some more significant findings include:

• More than 65% reported that they believe increased use of UAPs for care traditionally delivered by nurses diminishes care quality.

• More than 80% reported that they believe it is inappropriate for UAPs to draw blood and insert catheters or other tubes.

• More than 45% reported that ability to choose their own providers was the most important factor in their choice of health insurance.

• Only 17% of those surveyed who had a choice of health plans reported that cost was the most important factor in their choice of health insurance.

• More than 70% reported that choice of hospital was very important to their choice of health insurance, and 10% said hospital choice was the most important factor in selecting health insurance.

Case managers can receive more information about the survey, "Nursing and the quality of patient care," from the ANA. Contact: ANA, 600 Maryland Ave, SW, Suite 100 W, Washington, DC 20024-2571. Telephone: (202) 651-7000. Fax: (202) 651-7001.