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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

What Impacts Quality Patient Care (Besides Staffing Levels)?

Published November 29, 2011 2:51 PM by Linda Jones

Many believe a deficit of 250,000 nurses is likely in the next 15 years. If these numbers are accurate, it's worth looking at what other elements we can change that will ensure patients receive high quality care.

Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, of the New York University College of Nursing in New York City, and colleagues, tried to find out by looking at nurses' perception of high-quality patient care. A report from Medpage Today, quoting Djukic, reported that "a single incremental increase in nurses' ratings of the physical work environment ‘corresponded to an almost five times greater likelihood of nurses rating patient care as being high quality.'"

The elements the researchers looked at were: physical work environment, work-group cohesion, nurse-physician relations, procedural justice and job satisfaction.

"Our evidence demonstrates the importance of considering [nurse] work environment factors other than staffing when planning improvements that may affect patient care," the authors wrote.

Besides staffing levels, what do you think are the elements that impact quality care? Did the researchers look at the right things, or is something missing. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

posted by Linda Jones


Team work is a major factor that impacts quality care. The nursing environment can often become one filled with "my patient, my assignment" type of mindset. Regardless of staffing levels, if all employees made sure to always work as a team and help one another out, I believe it would positively impact quality patient care.

Vanessa, RN November 29, 2011 5:03 PM
philadelphia PA

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