Job-related burnout among nurses leads to an increase in healthcare-associated infection rates that costs hospitals millions of dollars each year, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing analyzed data from a 2006 survey that studied the connection between nurse staffing and burnout and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and surgical site infections (SSIs).
In comparing CAUTI rates with nurses' daily patient loads - with an average of 5.7 patients - researchers found 1 additional infection per 1,000 patients per year for each additional patient assigned to a nurse. The group also determined that each 10% increase in a hospital's most stressed nurses correlated to roughly 1 additional CAUTI and 2 more SSIs per 1,000 patients annually.
Looking at per-patient average costs associated with CAUTIs ($749 to $832 each) and SSIs ($11,087 to $29,443 each), researchers estimated that reducing nurse burnout rates from an average of 30% to 10% could prevent about 4,160 infections and save $41 million in healthcare costs each year.
"Healthcare facilities can improve nurse staffing and other elements of the care environment and alleviate job-related burnout in nurses at a much lower cost than those associated with healthcare-associated infections," say the authors. "By reducing nurse burnout, we can improve the well-being of nurses while improving the quality of patient care."
© Copyright Herrin Publishing Partners LP. REPRODUCTION OF THIS COPYRIGHTED CONTENT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. We encourage LINKING to this content; view our linking policy here.