The Adequacy of Nurse Staffing in the Emergency Department When Patient Acuity is a Consideration
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Between 1983 and 1987 outpatient visits increased 16.9 percent, a trend that is not predicted to change. Emergency departments ED are being flooded by patients who use the ED as their primary source of health care. Nurse staffing in EDs is most often determined on the basis of the previous years data concerning patient volume, without regard to the intensity of care the patient needed. However, necessary nursing time is influenced by patient acuity as well as patient volume. Due to the great diversity in daily patient volume, care needed, type of illness or injury, and length of stay, a PCS specifically related to emergency nursing activities must be used, as opposed to one that may have been developed for other nursing care units. A PCS allows patient needs, or acuity, to be identified and thus assists in the delineation of staffing requirements. Grouping patients into categories that reflect the acuity of their illness and thus magnitude of nursing care time provides a more rational and sensitive approach to determining the need for paid nursing care resources.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Medicine and Medical Research