The #1 Factor to Improve Patient Outcomes and Reduce Mortality

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, November 17th, 2015

Studies show that the amount of time that nurses spend with patients is related to fewer errors. And according to a new study, investing in nursing is key to patient outcomes and mortality.

The University of Pennsylvania wanted to understand why certain hospitals have better outcomes than others. Specifically, why did hospitals in the Kaiser Permanente health care system — an integrated health network in eight states that includes hospitals, insurance, and doctors’ offices all in one system — have such efficient and high-quality care.

improve patient outcomesWhen other organizations tried to mimic Kaiser Permanente’s organizational structure to improve care, they got mixed results. The researchers thought there might be a different X factor that explains Kaiser’s success: nurses.

To explore this, the study looked at more than 550 hospitals in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida, including 25 California-based Kaiser Permanente hospitals and 56 Magnet hospitals.

Nurses in each hospital answered surveys about their work environment, level of education, job satisfaction, and the number of patients cared for during a typical shift. The researchers also pulled data on patient mortality.

The results were clear: The odds of dying were about 20 percent lower in Kaiser Permanente and Magnet hospitals. “It turns out that these differences we see in nursing, in terms of work environment, investment in a highly educated workforce and increased staffing levels, those things translate into better outcomes,” the report stated.

To learn how to improve patient outcomes and nurse environments visit SelfCare for HealthCare.

One response to “The #1 Factor to Improve Patient Outcomes and Reduce Mortality”

  1. Joyce Gioia says:

    LeAnn, I’m going to be writing a Trend Alert about this topic and crediting you. Thanks for raising my consciousness.

    ‘Looking forward,

    Joyce Gioia, CMC, CSP

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