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Hiring More Nurses Will Reduce Number of Preventable Deaths in Hospitals - Research - Nurses Arena Forum

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Hiring More Nurses Will Reduce Number of Preventable Deaths in Hospitals by katty : May 24, 2018, 08:06:05 PM
Research :HIRING more nurses is key to reducing the number of preventable deaths in hospitals, a Territory academic has found.

Charles Darwin University lecturer Dr Melanie Underwood said there were more than 25,000 preventable deaths in Australian hospitals every year. As part of her PhD research, Dr Underwood analysed the causes of system failures, and found the key was nurse numbers.

“As nurses represent the largest group in the healthcare workforce, providing 24-hour care, they are in a key position to contribute to improving patient safety,” she said. Dr Underwood’s research is the first Australian study to use coronial reports to analyse nurse-related adverse events resulting in the death of patients.

The study analysed 101 coronial cases, and used 99 variables – such as nursing shift, type of death, specific types of unsafe acts and environmental factors – to drill down to how the behaviour of staff was impacted by the system.

“I found that almost all variables that had led to the deaths in each case were foreseeable and therefore often preventable,” she said. While Dr Underwood said information surrounding staffing numbers was not new – particularly in remote and regional areas – the research reinforced it was a major issue which contributed to preventable deaths.

A Health Department spokeswoman said Royal Darwin Hospital’s nursing levels differed depending on individual patient care requirements, and all NT hospitals were accredited under the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.

“RDH staffing is calculated based on a staffing tool which identifies how many hours of nursing care are required for each patient and takes into account patient acuity,” she said. “Palmerston Regional Hospital nursing staffing will be calculated in the same way ... dependent on individual patient nursing care requirements.”
Source : NT News

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