Nurse Value-Added and Patient Outcomes in Acute Care
Format of Original
Health Services Research
Original Item ID
The aims of the study were to (1) estimate the relative nurse effectiveness, or individual nurse value-added (NVA), to patients’ clinical condition change during hospitalization; (2) examine nurse characteristics contributing to NVA; and (3) estimate the contribution of value-added nursing care to patient outcomes.
Data Sources/Study Setting
Electronic data on 1,203 staff nurses matched with 7,318 adult medical–surgical patients discharged between July 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 from an urban Magnet-designated, 854-bed teaching hospital.
Retrospective observational longitudinal analysis using a covariate-adjustment value-added model with nurse fixed effects.
Data Collection/Extraction Methods
Data were extracted from the study hospital's electronic patient records and human resources databases.
Nurse effects were jointly significant and explained 7.9 percent of variance in patient clinical condition change during hospitalization. NVA was positively associated with having a baccalaureate degree or higher (0.55, p = .04) and expertise level (0.66, p = .03). NVA contributed to patient outcomes of shorter length of stay and lower costs.
Nurses differ in their value-added to patient outcomes. The ability to measure individual nurse relative value-added opens the possibility for development of performance metrics, performance-based rankings, and merit-based salary schemes to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.