Inpatient Nursing Unit Volume, Length of Stay, Cost, and Mortality

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Executive SummaryPatient or procedure volume per health care facility or physician has been used as a proxy for quality as higher volumes have been correlated with better patient outcomes.To date, the contribution of nursing care to this “practice effect” has not been fully explored.The authors examined cost, length of stay, and mortality in the context of the volume of medical and surgical patients discharged with 1 of 11 DRGs and other independent variables.In fact, the experience of a nursing unit in caring for a specific patient population is an important predictor of outcome for some patients.In terms of cost, patient volume and cost had a significant negative relationship, particularly for elective surgical DRGs.The relationship of patient volume and length of stay was less clear and requires further evaluation; similarly, the analysis of volume and mortality varied considerably.

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