The quality of hospital work environments and missed nursing care is linked to heart failure readmissions: a cross-sectional study of US hospitals.
Hospital readmissions are an increasing focus of patient safety efforts, due to Medicare's payment policy. This cross-sectional study sought to assess the link between working environments for nurses and readmissions. Suboptimal working conditions for nurses have been associated with poor patient outcomes. One proposed mechanism to explain this relationship is missed nursing care. Researchers found that hospitals with worse ratings of nurses' work environment and more frequent reports of missed care also had higher readmissions for heart failure. Although this study does not ascertain whether the working conditions or missed care caused the readmissions, the authors suggest that prospective studies looking at missed nursing care and subsequent readmissions are warranted. A recent AHRQ WebM&M perspective discusses the nursing workforce and patient safety.