Human Capital and Productivity in a Team Environment: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector

Source: Ann P. Bartel, Nancy D. Beaulieu, Ciaran S. Phibbs, and Patricia W. Stone, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 6 no. 2, April 2014
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From the abstract:
Using panel data from a large hospital system, this paper presents estimates of the productivity effects of human capital in a team production environment. Proxying nurses’ general human capital by education and their unit-specific human capital by experience on the nursing unit, we find that greater amounts of both types of human capital significantly improve patient outcomes. Disruptions to team functioning attributable to the departure of experienced nurses, the absorption of new hires, and the inclusion of temporary contract nurses are associated with significant decreases in productivity beyond those attributable to changes in nurses’ skill and experience.
Hospital study points to benefits of experienced nurses
Source: Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First, April 17, 2014

Patients receive better treatment and experience shorter hospital stays when treated in hospitals with longer-tenured nurses, according to a new four-year study. Researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing and Columbia Business School have published new findings that support the notion that more experienced nurses produce a benefit for both patients and hospitals. The study, which included a review of more than 900,000 patient admissions over four years at hospitals in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System, is the largest study of its kind to link nurse staffing to patient outcomes….