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Developing, testing and applying instruments for measuring rising dependency‐acuity's impact on ward staffing and quality

Developing, testing and applying instruments for measuring rising dependency‐acuity's impact on... Purpose – This paper aims to explains how relatively simple nurse staffing formulas from “best practice” ward dependency‐acuity data can be used for nursing workforce planning and development. Design/methodology/approach – The paper combines literature, detailed ward surveys, workshop and expert group/stakeholder information to generate and test care levels/nurse multipliers for setting ward establishments. Findings – The paper finds that professional‐judgement based ward staffing can be abandoned, while complex acuity‐quality, timed‐task and regression‐based nurse staffing algorithms for setting ward establishments may be unnecessary since the new multipliers, underpinned by robust validity and reliability testing, seem to be remarkably accurate nurse‐staffing determiners at a fraction of the cost. Research limitations/implications – As care levels and multipliers stand they are suitable only for UK National Health Service acute wards. Primary care, mental health, learning disability and other specialist group care levels and multipliers need developing. Practical implications – Users, at a minimum, can adopt care level data and multiplier staffing recommendations for benchmarking purposes. Ultimately, the algorithms can be used to: adjust ward establishments according to workload; or set staffing for new, inpatient services. Originality/value – The paper offers a simple system for assessing patients' nursing needs and setting ward staffing accordingly. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance Emerald Publishing

Developing, testing and applying instruments for measuring rising dependency‐acuity's impact on ward staffing and quality

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0952-6862
DOI
10.1108/09526860910927934
pmid
19284169
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to explains how relatively simple nurse staffing formulas from “best practice” ward dependency‐acuity data can be used for nursing workforce planning and development. Design/methodology/approach – The paper combines literature, detailed ward surveys, workshop and expert group/stakeholder information to generate and test care levels/nurse multipliers for setting ward establishments. Findings – The paper finds that professional‐judgement based ward staffing can be abandoned, while complex acuity‐quality, timed‐task and regression‐based nurse staffing algorithms for setting ward establishments may be unnecessary since the new multipliers, underpinned by robust validity and reliability testing, seem to be remarkably accurate nurse‐staffing determiners at a fraction of the cost. Research limitations/implications – As care levels and multipliers stand they are suitable only for UK National Health Service acute wards. Primary care, mental health, learning disability and other specialist group care levels and multipliers need developing. Practical implications – Users, at a minimum, can adopt care level data and multiplier staffing recommendations for benchmarking purposes. Ultimately, the algorithms can be used to: adjust ward establishments according to workload; or set staffing for new, inpatient services. Originality/value – The paper offers a simple system for assessing patients' nursing needs and setting ward staffing accordingly.

Journal

International Journal of Health Care Quality AssuranceEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 6, 2009

Keywords: Nurses; Human resource management; Quality indicators; United Kingdom

References

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