Demystifying the Influence of Hospital Characteristics on Inpatient Mortality Rates

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Death, although not the only measure of adverse outcome, has been studied more than any other single occurrence. The authors discuss the findings of these studies and propose a conceptual framework to explain the relation between several hospital characteristics (e.g., profit status, RN ratios) and inpatient mortality rates. These studies raise the issue of whether some hospital characteristics are distal contributors and others, such as RN ratios, are more proximal explanatory variables of the mortality rate. Implications for understanding the relation of nursing's role in the array of potential contributors are discussed.

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