Healthcare practitioners are very important to the health sector of any society. If we thought we knew their importance, the COVID 19 pandemic made it all the more glaring. While a hospital might make do with a few doctors, patients need nurses for monitoring of their treatment and aftercare.
Every hospital or medical facility needs adequate healthcare staffing to ensure a proper nurse to patient ratio. In this article, we would briefly discuss the importance of getting adequate nurse to patient ratio in any health facility and the benefits thereof.
Importance of Healthcare Staffing
This is an important factor that cannot be overlooked by any medical facility. Without adequate staffing, no healthcare facility would run efficiently. But before we go further, let’s just briefly describe what the term ‘healthcare staffing’ means.
This is the system or process through which medical personnel are employed by hospitals and medical facilities. From the medical director, to administrative staff to doctors and nurses; every position needs to be filled adequately to ensure that the facility runs efficiently.
These days, this process is mostly carried out by agencies that help these facilities source qualified professionals and ensure that they are rightly placed. This brings us to the importance which includes the following:-
- The most important reason why every facility that provides healthcare needs adequate staffing is for efficiency. Without the right staff, the facility wouldn’t function well.
- Provision of adequate services to patients – With the right personnel on ground, the patients are sure to receive adequate services required.
- Prevents staff shortage – This process is important because it helps to prevent a shortage of staff. If a hospital is in collaboration with an agency that helps them get staff immediately the need arises, they wouldn’t have to stay for any period of time without the adequate ratio of doctors or nurses to patients.
- Increased profitability – Apart from hospitals and health centres that are government owned or NGO funded, every health establishment would love to make profit. Agencies that help to staff such organizations are therefore important for the reason that they help to increase profitability. It may not seem so at first glance but overall analysis shows a cost effective advantage.
Check out this article for more on the importance of adequate healthcare staffing.
Benefits of Adequate Healthcare Staffing
Due to how highly important the issue of getting the right fit for every position in a health care facility is, there are many benefits when it is done right. These benefits include the following:-
Leads To Higher Rate of Patient Satisfaction
When you have the right ratio of nurses to patients, they are able to adequately care for the patients. This concentrated level of care enhances patient satisfaction. A patient that checks into a hospital and receives proper attention (because the nurses are not harried or strung out) would rate the hospital highly. There is a rating known as Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). You can be sure that only hospitals that are adequately staffed would stand a fighting chance to receive high scores.
Prevents or Reduces Nurse Burnout
Adequate staffing which is also referred to as safe staffing helps to reduce or totally eliminate nurse burnout. Imagine where one nurse has to attend to so many patients daily or even have to run multiple shifts due to staff shortage. Such a nurse would surely break down due to physical and emotional exhaustion from being overworked.
Many LPNs and RNs have had to quit when they couldn’t recover from burnout. But with the right/proper ratio of care provider to patient, the nurses are energized. When a nurse works the right hours per shift with the correct proportion of patients, they always have time to reboot.
Reduces Costs of Care Per Patient
When a medical facility practises safe staffing, they can reduce the cost of care per patient. This can be achieved by reducing how long patients stay on admission, the possibility of readmission and also injuries during hospital stay. Nurses are not harried so they would carry out required procedures correctly. There would also be fewer chances of errors or mismanagement of patients.
Enhances Patient Outcomes
One of the greatest benefits of adequate staffing is improved patient outcomes. California mandated a required minimum ratio of nurse-to-patient in health care facilities and they noticed that they had significant increase in positive patient outcomes.
You can check out this link for more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Although some health care facilities may think that they are cutting cost by making do with the barest minimum of staff, it is actually counterproductive. From our discussion so far, it can be deduced that an adequate nurse – patient ratio would ultimately be advantageous to all concerned. When a hospital is associated with the above mentioned benefits and more, there is no way that they wouldn’t make profit in the long run.