Finally this week in the Nursing Show News, an article looking at the economics of healthcare and how nurse experience and education affects patient care and specifically length of stay in the hospital. The study was recently published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Economics of Healthcare and Nursing

Doctor-Nurse-SmilingResearchers from Columbia University Business School in New York looked at how nurses time on a unit affected how long the patients stayed on the unit and in the hospital. They equated the retention of nurses on staff as an investment in what they called “human capital” equating the nurses to any other important piece of the hospital operations.

The authors pointed to similar units in Veterans Affairs hospitals with longer unit tenure for the nursing staff as saving costs of more than $20,000 when compared to units in a civilian hospital. They looked at units of all sorts including med-surg, oncology, and ICU floors.

Nurse Staffing and Overtime Affects Outcome

Nursing productivity was measured by hospital length of stay for the patients on the units. They found that nurse staffing and experience had the greatest effect on the length of stay and thus saved the most in healthcare costs. Things that lowered length of stay on the units included overtime hours for the nurses and shifting of nurses to different units within the hospital.

I urge you to take a look at this whole article and let me know what you think. You’ll find a link in the show notes for this episode. Shoot me an email with your comments and maybe I can share them with others in the Nursing Show community. Remember that email address is NursingShow@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you as always.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Public Health Digital Disease Detection Tools and Episode 294.

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