Aug 15, 2015

Examining the Impact and Value of Nursing Practices to Reduce Re-Hospitalizations


  • Higher nurse staffing levels measured at the organizational level have been associated with better inpatient outcomes and lower 30-day mortality rates.
  • Poor discharge preparation has been associated with difficulty coping at home after discharge, and with re-hospitalizations

Key Findings:

  • Higher non-overtime RN hours per patient day were associated with decreased likelihood of re-hospitalization within 30 days post-discharge.
  • Higher overtime RNHPPD were associated with increased likelihood of an ED visit.
  • Higher non-overtime RN staffing was indirectly associated reduced ED visits, via a sequential path through quality of discharge teaching and discharge readiness.
  • Investments in increased RNHPPD could produce substantial potential savings from reduced post-discharge utilization costs.
  • Savings would be retained by the payers, which reduces the internal financial return to the organization from investment in nurse staffing.
  • The study findings support these recommendations: monitor and manage unit-level nurse staffing to minimize re-hospitalizations and ED use after hospital discharge; assess quality of discharge teaching and readiness standard practices within hospital discharge preparation processes; and realign payment incentives to offset the costs of increasing nurse staffing, avoiding costs through improved post-discharge utilization.