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Inpatient Mortality Linked to Nurse Understaffing
Health Leaders Media

Inpatient mortality goes up significantly when a hospital has greater patient turnover and when it fails to meet its own nurse staffing targets by at least eight hours, says a report that strongly suggests hospitals measure and adjust nurse staffing to patient needs.

“We estimate that the risk of death increased by 2% for each below-target (8-hour) shift and 4% for each high turnover shift to which a patient was exposed,” said the report, by first author Jack Needleman, professor of health services at UCLA School of Public Health, and colleagues at the University of California Los Angeles, Vanderbilt University, the Mayo Clinic and Duke University Medical Center.

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