Poor Work Environments, Not Use of Supplemental RNs, Increases Mortality

June 5, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Using a greater percentage of agency-employed supplemental registered nurses does not have a negative effect on patient mortality and failure-to-rescue rates, concludes a study published in the June 2013 issue of Health Services Research. The study, which compared survey data from 40,356 registered nurses employed at 665 hospitals in four states with inpatient mortality data from state agencies and the American Hospital Association, examined the association between the use of supplemental registered nurses and 30-day in-hospital mortality and failure-to-rescue rates. Although the results initially indicated that a 10% increase in using supplemental registered nurses was associated with a 5% increase in 30-day in-hospital deaths and failures to rescue, further analysis revealed that this association was rendered insignificant when the quality of work environments and other nursing factors were controlled.

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