While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist, healthcare staffing shortages are being felt all throughout the United States and beyond. As clinics, hospitals, and care facilities struggle with staffing, it is important to investigate how these shortages impact healthcare quality and patient well-being. More than ever, it is critical that healthcare leaders understand the burdens presented by these shortages and invest in recruitment and retention strategies to best remedy them.
While the reality of these shortages is clear, their potential to impact the quality of health and healthcare is less so. To gain a better understanding, we have gathered a few studies to show some of the significant ways that healthcare staffing shortages could affect care and patient safety and to help illustrate the severity of the issue.
But why can low staffing levels lead to increased mortality? One of the possible reasons is medical errors.
Our team at AB Med would love to help you discover innovative solutions to overcome your staffing healthcare challenges.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Haddad, L.M. and Toney-Butler, T.J. (2022). Nursing shortage. [online] NCBI. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/.
- ICN – International Council of Nurses. (n.d.). ‘The greatest threat to global health is the workforce shortage’ – International Council of Nurses International Nurses Day demands action on investment in nursing, protection and safety of nurses. [online] Available at: https://www.icn.ch/news/greatest-threat-global-health-workforce-shortage-international-council-nurses-international [Accessed 13 Jun. 2022].
- ECRI. (n.d.). ECRI Reports Staffing Shortages and Clinician Mental Health are Top Threats to Patient Safety. [online] Available at: https://www.ecri.org/press/ecri-reports-staffing-shortages-and-clinician-mental-health-are-top-threats [Accessed 13 Jun. 2022].
- ECRI. (n.d.). Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns 2022. [online] Available at: https://www.ecri.org/top-10-patient-safety-concerns-2022 [Accessed 13 Jun. 2022].
- Every respiratory measure matters. (n.d.). [online] doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1001025. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmsa1001025
- Griffiths, P., Maruotti, A., Recio Saucedo, A., Redfern, O.C., Ball, J.E., Briggs, J., Dall’Ora, C., Schmidt, P.E. and Smith, G.B. (2018). Nurse staffing, nursing assistants and hospital mortality: Retrospective longitudinal cohort study. BMJ Quality & Safety, [online] 28(8), p.bmjqs-2018-008043. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2018-008043.
- Medical Economics. (n.d.). 34% of doctors report increased medical errors due to staffing shortages. [online] Available at: https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/34-of-doctors-report-increased-medical-errors-due-to-staffing-shortages [Accessed 13 Jun. 2022].
- Garcia, C., Abreu, L., Ramos, J., Castro, C., Smiderle, F., Santos, J. and Bezerra, I. (2019). Influence of Burnout on Patient Safety: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Medicina, 55(9), p.553. doi:10.3390/medicina55090553.
By: Erik McLaughlin MD, MPH and Aikaterini Papadopoulou, B.Arch