The clinical and economic impact of nurse to patient staffing ratios in women receiving intrapartum oxytocin

Steven L. Clark, George A. Saade, Janet A. Meyers, Donna R. Frye, Jonathan B. Perlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To examine the relationship between nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and perinatal outcomes in women receiving oxytocin during labor. Study Design A retrospective analysis of perinatal outcomes in women receiving oxytocin for induction or augmentation of labor during 2010. Outcomes examined were fetal distress, birth asphyxia, primary cesarean delivery, chorioamnionitis, endomyometritis, and a composite of adverse events. Frequency of 1:1 nurse-to-patient staffing was determined for each hospital. Outcomes were compared between hospitals categorized into quartiles of staffing ratios. Results In 208,033 women delivering during 2010, there was no relation between frequency of 1:1 nurse-to-patient staffing ratio and improved perinatal outcomes. Adoption of universal 1:1 staffing in the United States would result in the need for an additional 27,000 labor nurses and a cost of $1.6 billion. Conclusion Available data do not support the imposition of mandatory 1:1 nurse-to-patient staffing ratios for women receiving oxytocin in all U.S. facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

Keywords

  • nurse staffing
  • oxytocin
  • patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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