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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

Effects of nurse-to-patient ratio legislation on nurse staffing and patient mortality, readmissions, and length of stay: a prospective study in a panel of hospitals.

McHugh MD, Aiken LH, Sloane DM, et al. The Lancet. 2021;397(10288):1905-1913.

While research shows that better nurse staffing ratios are associated with improved patient outcomes, policies setting minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals are rarely implemented. In 2016, select Queensland (Australia) hospitals implemented minimum nurse staffing ratios. Compared to hospitals that did not implement minimum nurse staffing ratios, length of stay, mortality, and readmission rates were significantly lower in intervention hospitals, providing evidence, once again, that minimum staffing ratios can improve patient outcomes.