NURS 6053 Week 1 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues

NURS 6053 Week 1 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues
NURS 6053 Week 1 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues
If you were to ask 10 people what they believe to be the most significant issue facing healthcare today, you might get 10 different answers. Escalating costs? Regulation? Technology disruption?
These and many other topics are worthy of discussion. Not surprisingly, much has been said in the research, within the profession, and in the news about these topics. Whether they are issues of finance, quality, workload, or outcomes, there is no shortage of changes to be addressed.
NURS 6053 Week 1 Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues
In this Discussion, you examine a national healthcare issue and consider how that issue may impact your work setting. You also analyze how your organization has responded to this issue.
To Prepare:
Review the Resources and select one current national healthcare issue/stressor to focus on.
Reflect on the current national healthcare issue/stressor you selected and think about how this issue/stressor may be addressed in your work setting.
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post a description of the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected for analysis, and explain how the healthcare issue/stressor may impact your work setting. Then, describe how your health system work setting has responded to the healthcare issue/stressor, including a description of what changes may have been implemented. Be specific and provide examples.
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By Day 6 of Week 1
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who chose a different national healthcare issue/stressor than you selected. Explain how their chosen national healthcare issue/stressor may also impact your work setting and what (if anything) is being done to address the national healthcare issue/stressor.
Nurses play an integral role in the health care system. They provide acute care for patients in emergency rooms and intensive care units and administer medicine and other daily essentials throughout our country’s hospitals. But far too often, nurses are overworked and under-supported as hospital administrators seek to lower costs and boost profits.
In the face of aggressive cost-cutting, minimum staffing levels are necessary to ensure the safety of patients and nurses. Adequate nurse staffing is key to improving patient care and nurse retention, while poor staffing endangers patients and drives nurses from the profession. Unfortunately, staffing problems are only set to get worse as baby boomers age and the demand for health care services grows, making staffing a growing concern for nurses and patients alike.
Safe Staffing Practices Improve Patient Care Outcomes
In 1999, California became the first state to pass a law setting a legal maximum patient-to-nurse staffing ratio in order to improve patient care. Since it was fully implemented in 2004, research specific to California has shown measurably improved patient outcomes, in line with the broader academic consensus about the positive impact of lowering nurse workloads.

The most comprehensive study of the impact of the law came out in 2010 and compared hospitals in California to hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Researchers found significantly better health outcomes in California, including lower surgical mortality rates, reduced inpatient deaths within 30 days of admission and a lower likelihood of death from failing to properly respond to symptoms.[1]

These conclusions are backed up by a 2018 meta-analysis of other research, which found for every increase of one nurse, patients had a 14 percent decrease in risk for inhospital mortality.[2] An earlier analysis produced similar results, showing in 2007 that an increase of one full-time registered nurse in a unit per day would result in nine percent fewer hospital-related deaths in the ICU, 16 percent fewer deaths for surgical patients and six percent fewer deaths for medical patients.[3]

In long-term care facilities, patients with more direct RN time (30 to 40 minutes daily per patient) reported fewer pressure ulcers, acute care hospitalizations, urinary tract infections, urinary catheters, and less deterioration in their ability to perform daily living activities.[4]

While increased nurse staffing greatly improves patient outcomes in hospitals with positive nurse working conditions, it has little to no effect in hospitals that otherwise have poor nurse working conditions. Good nursing work environments are characterized by positive working relationships between doctors and nurses, active nurse involvement in hospital decision making, management responding to nurse patient care concerns, continuing education programs for nurses and constant quality improvement for patient care programs.[5]

Inadequate Staffing Endangers Nurses and Patients Alike
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for registered nurses will increase 15 percent between 2016 and 2026, and 438,000 new nursing jobs will be created over this ten-year period.[6] This increase in demand only stands to compound the existing nursing shortage and other hospital staffing problems, described by the American Nurses Association (ANA):
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