A Statistical Method for Predicting Postanesthesia Care Unit Staffing Needs

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When predicting staffing requirements for postanesthesia care units (PACUs), nurse managers are expected to satisfy standards, meet patient care needs, staff PACUs to accommodate surgeons' and facilities' needs, and contain costs. The authors present a statistical method that offers reliability and accuracy in forecasting future patient numbers and related PACU staffing requirements. Nurse managers can use this method to decide how frequently they will satisfy staffing standards, how many shifts of RNs to schedule each day, and how many months in the future to schedule staff members. Future peak numbers of patients for each daily shift are based on previous daily peak numbers of patients, and staffing requirements can be planned from these predicted peak numbers of patients, using a facility's PACU staffing standards. AORN J 65 (May 1997) 947-957.

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