Churn: Patient turnover and mix

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Nursing Economics, 2009, 27 (3), pp. 185 - 191
Issue Date:
2009-05-01
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Patient throughput and casemix changes on nursing wards are little understood aspects of nursing's responsibility for nursing wards/units as hospital operations. In this study, the movement of patients on and off wards in 27 Australian public hospitals (286 wards) were analyzed over a 5-year period. Casemix change at the nursing unit level was also examined. In the data here, medical/surgical patients moved on average more than twice in an average hospital stay of only about 4 days. The absence of ward-level metrics compromises the ability of nursing unit/ward managers to meet their own efficiency and quality standards. Measurements of churn would give nurses another way to talk about the work of nursing to senior management and would give nurse executives a way to describe hospital operations and throughput and the impact on staff, patients, and resource allocation.
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