Unsafe Staffing Increases Risk of Death

“The results suggest that addressing staffing shortages in nursing homes can save lives.”

–author Sushant Joshi, PhD, of the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Safe nurse staffing means an appropriate number of nurses available to care for patients, with the right education, skills, and experience to ensure that patient care needs are met. Furthermore, the working conditions and environment must support staff to provide optimum care.

Labor shortfalls have a significant impact on resident outcomes. McKnight’s reported another study showing the negative effects of unsafe staffing. JAMDA published the findings showing nurse staffing shortages in nursing homes cause neglect and a 10.5% increase in resident deaths.

Staffing shortages during any week were positively associated with a 10.5% increase in total resident deaths, or 0.068 total deaths per 100 residents. They were also associated with increases in resident deaths from COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 causes individually.

Every additional patient per nurse above safe staffing ratios increases the mortality rate for all patients by 7% - Dropstat