Document Type

Article

Publisher

Wiley

Faculty

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

School

School of Nursing and Midwifery

RAS ID

18140

Comments

This article was originally published as: Twigg, D.E., Myers, H., Duffield, C., Giles, M., & Evans, G. (2015). Is there an economic case for investing in nursing care - what does the literature tell us? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(5), 975-990. Original article available here

Abstract

Aim

To determine the cost effectiveness of increasing nurse staffing or changing the nursing skill mix in adult medical and/or surgical patients?

Background

Research has demonstrated that nurse staffing levels and skill mix are associated with patient outcomes in acute care settings. If increased nurse staffing levels or richer skill mix can be shown to be cost-effective hospitals may be more likely to consider these aspects when making staffing decisions.

Design

A systematic review of the literature on economic evaluations of nurse staffing and patient outcomes was conducted to see whether there is consensus that increasing nursing hours/skill mix is a cost-effective way of improving patient outcomes. We used the Cochrane Collaboration systematic review method incorporating economic evidence.

Data sources

The MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus and PsychINFO databases were searched in 2013 for published and unpublished studies in English with no date limits.

Review methods

The review focused on full economic evaluations where costs of increasing nursing hours or changing the skill mix were included and where consequences included nursing sensitive outcomes.

Results

Four-cost benefit and five-cost effectiveness analyses were identified. There were no cost-minimization or cost-utility studies identified in the review. A variety of methods to conceptualize and measure costs and consequences were used across the studies making it difficult to compare results.

Conclusion

This review was unable to determine conclusively whether or not changes in nurse staffing levels and/or skill mix is a cost-effective intervention for improving patient outcomes due to the small number of studies, the mixed results and the inability to compare results across studies.

DOI

10.1111/jan.12577

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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