Study Links Nurse Burnout and Poor Patient Care

The Penn study examined infection data reported to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council by 161 acute care facilities statewide. Researchers surveyed over 7,000 nurses and ranked their responses according to a standard burnout questionnaire.

On average, the nurses surveyed cared for 5.7 patients each. For every 1,000 patients, there were 8.6 catheter-related urinary tract infections on average. Adding just one more patient to a nurse’s patient load increased the incidence of urinary tract infections to approximately 9.6 for every 1,000 patients. Researchers discovered that a 10 percent increase in the number of burned out nurses in a department increased the incidence of urinary tract infections the by the same amount as increasing patient load.

Researchers hope that the data they have collected can help hospitals better manage their staff, which should lead to better, safer hospital stays for patients.

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Source: Philly.com, “Penn study examines link between nurse burnout, care,” Don Sapatkin