EVIDENCE-BASED, NURSE-PATIENT ASSIGNMENTS WITH PATIENT ACUITY
Can poorly executed nurse-patient assignments be contributing to the current environment of excessive workloads and stressed nurses? Research studies suggest that’s the case.
Here’s how one researcher put it:
Creating well-balanced, high-quality assignments is crucial to ensuring patient safety, quality of care, and job satisfaction for nurses.1
HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND FAIRNESS
There’s another fundamental issue with nurse-patient assignments – fairness. How do you distribute assignments so they are considered fair and unbiased? That’s not easy when the process is entirely left up to the Charge Nurse to decide. How does he or she decide who gets which patient?
USING PATIENT ACUITY FOR NURSE-PATIENT ASSIGNMENTS
One technique used is to assign patients based on patient acuity. Those needing more care and attention are given greater consideration and assigned accordingly.
But how reliable is the acuity scoring and what is it based on? Can it be implemented easily within the EHR or does it still not address the underlying problems associated with distributing workloads equitably and fairly?
WHAT ABOUT CONTINUITY?
Studies clearly show the benefit of continuity of care.
This is what one researcher declared:
Nurse staffing assignments for continuity should be prioritized as a strategy to improve patient outcomes of hospitalization.2
And yet, continuity is difficult to implement. Why? Because there’s no easy way to keep track of previous patients, whether it’s from a week ago, a month or even a year. It’s a nightmare if you try to do it manually or with a spreadsheet.
ASSIGN FOR NURSES: AUTOMATED AND INTELLIGENT NURSE-PATIENT ASSIGNMENTS
Imagine being able to not only factor in patient acuity into nurse-patient assignments, but incorporate other factors as well, such as the location of the patient and continuity.
Imagine the nurse-assignment process was automated and intelligent so that it quickly and easily handled all of the different configurations in just a matter of minutes.
Imagine being able to easily and automatically implement continuity of care.
Imagine if the assignment list could then be automatically distributed to ALL providers (including physicians, physical therapists and case managers).
THE RESEARCH ON NURSE-PATIENT ASSIGNMENTS IS CLEAR.
Better patient assignments lead to better care.
They also improve staff morale, improve patient satisfaction and improve overall safety and quality.
Another researcher put it this way:
…the identification of the most efficient and therapeutic assignments can lower LOSs, adverse outcomes, and ultimately hospital costs.3
DON’T SETTLE FOR SECOND OR THIRD BEST
No other software product in healthcare today has thousands of rules-based algorithms that handle the complexity of balancing multiple protocols to produce nurse-patient assignments. No other software product not only uses patient acuity, but a host of other variables to make assignments fair and unbiased. No other assignment software product produces balanced workloads and assignments in minutes. Only ASSIGN for Nurses handles all of these functions.
Don’t settle for just an okay solution. Don’t settle for what’s already in your EHR. Choose the best and most innovative option to help nurses with their workloads. Call or email us to have a discussion.
MedAptus: The Patient Assignment People