Surgery Patients Do Better in Hospitals That Treat Nurses Well

Better working conditions for nurses don’t just benefit the nurses--a good work environment improves the survival rates for surgery patients, too, according to research from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The study found that hospitals with well-staffed, top-notch nursing departments had fewer deaths after surgery than hospitals without high-quality nursing departments, concluded a report published in JAMA Surgery.

Hospitals were considered to have good nursing environments if they had more than one nurse for every hospital bed and so-called Magnet status, which is a special accreditation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

For the study, the researchers matched 25,752 surgical patients at 35 hospitals with good nursing environments to 25,752 similarly-aged and equally sick patients at 293 hospitals without those nursing environments. Everyone in the study was at least 65 years old.

In the good nursing environments, 4.8 percent of patients died within 30 days of arriving at the hospital, compared to 5.8 percent of patients at other hospitals. The difference in death rates was most pronounced among the least healthy patients, who were nearly 3 percent less likely to die at hospitals with good nursing environments.

In addition, 7.5 percent of patients at hospitals with good nursing environments died after complications, compared to 8.9 percent of patients at other hospitals.

The study authors further concluded that hospitals with better nursing environments also provided better value, with better results for about the same cost.

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Sourced from: Reuters Health, Surgery patients do better when hospitals are good to nurses