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Patterns: Lighter Load for Nurses May Aid Patients
New York Times

A state law in California requires hospitals to maintain certain minimal levels of nurses on duty. Now a study suggests that the requirement may be saving lives. The study, published online last month by the journal Health Services Research, compares the outcomes of 1.1 million general surgery patients in 2005-6 in more than 800 hospitals in three states — California, where nurses in medical-surgical units are limited to five patients at a time; and New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where nurses’ patient loads averaged more than six.

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