Hospitals must do better by nurses, says Leapfrog

Two in five reporting hospitals did not fully meet Leapfrog standards for RNs
By Mike Miliard
10:24 AM

Just 40 percent of hospitals reporting to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey complied with all 21 the National Quality Forum endorsed safe practices on nursing workforce.

Nurses  are a significant part of the healthcare workforce, with nearly 58 percent employed by hospitals. Because of the direct link between nursing and high-quality care, improvement of nursing workforce safe practices is necessary for optimal patient safety, according to Leapfrog, which published the study on May 13, at the tail end of National Nurses Week.

"Anyone who has ever been a patient in a hospital knows how critical the nurses are to health and life," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a statement announcing the findings. "Employers and other purchasers that are part of Leapfrog’s movement appreciate the hospitals that voluntarily report this data to us – and then make a commitment to improve."

The report finds that the percentage of hospitals that achieved full compliance on NQF's nursing workforce safe practice did increase from 52 percent in 2013 to 60 percent in 2014. Nonetheless, two in five reporting hospitals did not fully meet Leapfrog standards.

Also, the number of Leapfrog-reporting hospitals achieving Magnet Status from recognition from the American Nursing Credentials Center increased marginally, from 15.5 percent in 2013 to 16 percent in 2014.

Read the full report here.

The study comes close on the heels of recent nurse strikes over pay and safety, such as a California Nurses Association protest this past month month at five hospitals run by Sutter Health, reports Healthcare Finance Associate Editor Susan Morse. Contentious issues there had to do with compensation and improved RN staffing, which is compromising patient safety, National Nurses United Co-President Karen Higgins said at the time.

Leapfrog also recently released its updated hospital safety grades.

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See also:

Leapfrog: See list of hospitals that got failing grades for safety

10 nurse execs at the top of their game

10 strategies for nurses and big data

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