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Study: 40 Percent of U.S. Hospitals Fail to Properly Support Nurses, Putting Patients at Risk

Our Seattle medical malpractice lawyers report that some U.S. hospitals do not follow all of the endorsed safe practices for supporting their nursing staffs.

According to a recently released study by The Leapfrog Group, 40 percent of U.S. hospitals do not follow all of the endorsed safe practices for supporting their nursing staffs. The news is sobering for healthcare facilities and medical malpractice attorneys who understand the vital role that nurses play in reducing accident risks, preventing infections, and ensuring proper care for each patient.

Currently, nurses compose the single largest group of healthcare professionals, and nearly 58 percent of nurses are employed by hospitals, according to the Leapfrog Group’s press release exploring its findings. To meet the standard for nursing support set by Leapfrog’s study, a hospital must either comply with all 21 of the “nursing workforce safe practices” the study identifies or receive “Magnet Status” recognition from the American Nursing Credentials Center.

Although 2 in 5 of the hospitals covered by the survey failed to meet either standard for adequately supporting their nurses, the study did find some signs of improvement. The percentage of hospitals that did meet all 21 of the “safe practices” rose 8 percent, from 52 percent of surveyed hospitals in 2013 to 60 percent in 2014, according to the press release.

Hospitals that received Magnet Status recognition from the American Nursing Credentials Center also increased half a percent, from 15.5 percent to 16 percent over the past year, Leapfrog’s press release noted.

The Leapfrog Hospital Survey examines 1,501 U.S. hospitals on a number of quality care and safety measures. The report on nursing support was the sixth in a series of reports by Castlight Health analyzing the Leapfrog data. Other reports in the series include information on maternity care, high-risk procedures, and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems.

Interested members of the public can search Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score data to learn more about how Leapfrog ranked certain hospitals in their city, state, or region. Information from the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey is also available online.

The attorneys of Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC, are committed to patient safety and represent patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors in Seattle and across Washington. Schedule a free consultation by calling us or contacting us online.