MNA’s Proposed Safe Staffing Ratios Would Save Twin Cities Hospitals Money

17 May

The stats don’t lie – the type of safe staffing language Twin Cities nurses are proposing to Twin Cities hospitals during 2010 contract negotiations not only improves patient safety and quality of care, but it also saves the hospitals money!

Safe staffing ratios save hospitals money

  • Adding 133,000 RNs to the acute care hospital workface across the U.S. would produce medical savings estimated at $6.1 billion in reduced patient care costs, not including the value of increased productivity when nurses help patients recover more quickly, an estimated additional $231 million per year. Combining medical savings with increased productivity, the partial estimates of economic value averages $57,700 for each of the additional 133,000 RNs. (Medical Care, January 2009)
  • Reducing the high RN turnover rate – unsafe staffing is a major cause of RNs leaving the bedside – could save billions of dollars. At the current national turnover rate, 18.5 percent, and a 2007 inflation-adjusted per-RN turnover cost of $82,000 to $88,000 yields a total national cost of RN turnover of $18.9 billion – $20.1 billion a year. (Journal of Nursing Administration, January 2008)
  • Improving RN-to-patient rations from 1:8 to 1:4 would produce significant cost savings and is less costly that many other basic safety interventions common in hospitals, including clot-busting medications for heart attacks and PAP tests for cervical cancer. (Medical Care, August 2005)
  • Preventing medical errors reduces loss of life and could reduce healthcare costs by as much as 30 percent. Insurers paid an additional $28,218 (52 percent more) and an additional…. The post-discharge costs savings achieved by reducing adverse events might just be enough for the hospital to break even on the investment in nursing. (Health Services Research, July 2008)
  • RN understaffing in hospital intensive care units increases the risk of pneumonia and other preventable infections that can add thousands of dollars to the cost of care of hospital patients. (Critical Care, July 2007)
  • Raising the proportion of RNs by increasing RN staffing to match the 25 percent best staffed hospitals would produce net short-term cost savings of $242 million. (Health Affairs, January/February 2006)
  • Nurses represent the single largest labor expense for hospitals. In an attempt to manage costs, many hospitals have, over the years, reduced nursing staff, which in some cases has compromised quality of care and patient safety. Nursing shortages have been shown to contribute to longer lengths of stay in the ICU and increased rates in urinary tract infections and other complications. According to VHA research, hospitals that improve employer satisfaction witness an average increase in revenue per employee…Poor service and loss of patients to other hospitals ultimately mean lost revenue for a hospital. Those facilities that find solutions will gain a competitive advantage in their market and achieve solid financial returns. (Voluntary Hospital Association. Press Release: What the Work Force Shortage is Costing U.S. Hospitals, Nov. 11, 2002)
  • Healthcare industry turnover is reported to be 20.7 percent. A hospital with 600 employees and turnover rate of 20 percent would spend $5.52 million a year on turnover. Cutting the turnover rate to 15 percent would result in direct savings of $1.38 million per year. (Voluntary Hospital Association. The Business Case for Work Force Stability, October 2002)
  • Hospitals with higher turnover rates have higher costs per discharge. Costs per adjusted discharge at hospitals with turnover rates above 21 percent run 36 percent higher than those at hospitals with turnover rates below 12 percent. (Voluntary Hospital Association. The Business Case for Work Force Stability, October 2002)

12 Responses to “MNA’s Proposed Safe Staffing Ratios Would Save Twin Cities Hospitals Money”

  1. Linda May 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Check dates on these articles. So much has changed since even 2008 and you are referencing articles back to 2002. We are in very different times. Please get current on what you are sharing with nurses and public!!

    • eric May 19, 2010 at 2:02 am #

      Here is the deal. The more patients have contact with RNs the less likely they are to fall, to have hospital aquired pnuemonias, pressure ulcers, and UTI’s. You will begin to see higher patient and staff satisfaction scores, and in general better patient outcomes. Which in the longer term will save the hospitals money. Unsure if these are the most current reports or journal articles. But the ones I have reviewed, no matter what the date is, supports these assertions.

    • MNA RN June 24, 2010 at 4:10 am #

      If you really want to learn the truth.

  2. JamesRN June 24, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    1:8 patient ratios DO NOT HAPPEN in MN!!!!! This is a lie. I was a Twin Cities nurse within the past couple years. We were never asked to have more than four patients. Ever.

  3. MNA RN June 24, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    To JamesRN(?)(?) (?) (?) and Linda (OMG You’re Back Again) (Manager or some other related species):

    First of all… a real RN knows what the truth is.
    How about 5-6 patients! Yes, it does happen! I have had 7-8. I can’t speak about your reality but I can speak of what I have personally experienced and what other RNs that I know and work with experience. You can’t say it’s a lie just because you have not personallly experienced it. Your reasoning is flawed. The fact is that if a nurse has more patients then you naturally have less time to spend with each patient. DUH! You need to go back and read what eric wrote and maybe read it again so that you can grasp the concept. When you live the experience you know the truth. How nice it must be to live in your world where you only have 4 patients. As another nurse wrote in Face book and after reading what JamesRN(?) wrote and what Shriner Circus says: I am now going to get on my magical unicorn and we are going to fly to work… where patients sleep at night (and dream happy dreams) and I only have 4 patients. NOT!

    • MNA RN June 24, 2010 at 4:24 am #

      If you want to hear the truth of what the TCH (Twin Cities Hospitals) do not want the general public to be aware of… there are many, many, many articles on the internet if you go to Google and do a little research. Many posting on the MNA RN page are actually hospital managers, pretend RNs, and hired public relation firms that are being paid by the TCH (Twin Cities Hospitals) “$700-$1,000 AN HOUR” – some of those on the hospitals payroll are also strike busters (many articles on the internet on them as well), some are just trolls, some are actually real people that just want real information. Click on the below link:

  4. concernedrn June 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Maybe on nights 5-6! Dayshift is 4 patients on days where I work.

  5. KjoRN June 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I am NOT paid by the hospital. I am an RN and think this information needs to be out there. We need to be informed decision-makers.

    Mandatory Ratios do not Improve Patient Safety (published June 2010):

  6. Jen July 11, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Come to England. We have one RN to 15 in acute medicine with a high geriatric population. A 30 bed ward nowadays has 2 RN’s and two untrained teenage “apprentices” as the entire staffing for a day shift. Without a unit clerk.

    And they say that have to save even more money by reducing frontline staff.

    It’s the same at every other hospital nearby and no one is hiring nurses, only overpaid managers.

    Unions and Nursing board here don’t seem to give a crap.

    • MNA RN July 12, 2010 at 2:55 am #

      To Jen:

      But… nurses do. I think that the patients would rather have nurses taking care of them instead of managers and CEOs. If the hospitals want a plan that would work all away around… all they need to do is to look to their nurses. Their own nurses would be an invaluable source of information, resources and problem solving (it’s part of what nurses do). Because the information would be coming from the front line nurses who “know” what they are talking about because they have insight into the issues, what works and what doesn’t work. Nurses have solutions and ideas that the hospitals refuse to acknowledge or utilize because it is too obvious. What a wasted resource.


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