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Staff turnover impacts quality: studies

February 10, 2014
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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Consistent care delivered by a stable nursing home staff improves the odds against residents suffering from adverse events. In December, two studies conducted by the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) were published that looked at how staff turnover led to problems with quality in nursing homes. The studies linked the data from the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey by facility to various databases, including Quality Indicators from Nursing Home Compare and Online Survey, Certification and Reporting (OSCAR). 

In the first study, “Are Nursing Home Survey Deficiencies Higher in Facilities with Greater Staff Turnover,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, researchers at the found quality problems as measured by deficiencies were associated with turnover in the nursing staff—nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).

In a second study, “Turnover, Staffing, Skill Mix, and Resident Outcomes in a National Sample of U.S. Nursing Homes,” UMSON researchers found an increase in pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections and pain in facilities with high CNA turnover.

“Changes are needed to improve the retention of care providers and reduce staff vacancies in nursing homes to ensure, high quality of care for older Americans,” said Nancy B. Lerner, DNP, RN, BSN,  in an article published in Infection Control Today.

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