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Associations between rates of unassisted inpatient falls and levels of registered and non-registered nurse staffing Journal Article


Authors: Staggs Vincent S; Dunton, Nancy
Article Title: Associations between rates of unassisted inpatient falls and levels of registered and non-registered nurse staffing
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: /st>To enhance understanding of how nurse staffing relates to unassisted falls by exploring non-linear associations between unassisted fall rates and levels of registered nurse (RN) and non-RN staffing on 5 nursing unit types, thereby enabling managers to improve patient safety by making better-informed decisions about staffing. DESIGN: /st>Cross-sectional analysis of routinely collected data using hierarchical negative binomial regression. SETTING: 8069 nursing units in 1361 U.S. hospitals participating in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators(®).Main outcome measureRate of unassisted falls per inpatient day. RESULTS: /st>Associations between unassisted fall rates and nurse staffing varied by unit type. For medical-surgical units, higher RN staffing was weakly associated with lower fall rates. On step-down and medical units, the association between RN staffing and fall rates depended on the level of staffing: At lower staffing levels, the fall rate increased as staffing increased, but at moderate and high staffing levels, the fall rate decreased as staffing increased. Higher levels of non-RN staffing were generally associated with higher fall rates. CONCLUSIONS: /st>Increasing non-RN staffing seems ineffective at preventing unassisted falls. Increasing RN staffing may be effective, depending on the unit type and the current level of staffing.
Journal Title: International journal for quality in health care: journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care / ISQua
ISSN: 1464-3677
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2013
DOI/URL: