Nurse staffing, burnout, and health care-associated infection

Source: Jeannie P. Cimiotti, Linda H. Aiken, Douglas M. Sloane, Evan S. Wu, American Journal of Infection Control, Vol. 40 no. 6, August 2012
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Each year, nearly 7 million hospitalized patients acquire infections while being treated for other conditions. Nurse staffing has been implicated in the spread of infection within hospitals, yet little evidence is available to explain this association….There was a significant association between patient-to-nurse ratio and urinary tract infection and surgical site infection. In a multivariate model controlling for patient severity and nurse and hospital characteristics, only nurse burnout remained significantly associated with urinary tract infection and surgical site infection infection. Hospitals in which burnout was reduced by 30% had a total of 6,239 fewer infections, for an annual cost saving of up to $68 million…. We provide a plausible explanation for the association between nurse staffing and health care-associated infections. Reducing burnout in registered nurses is a promising strategy to help control infections in acute care facilities.

Leave a Reply