Penn study gets $3M to examine changes in nursing practices and patient outcomes

The National Institutes of Nursing Research is putting $3 million toward further research by Linda Aiken, a professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, that is focusing on how changes in nursing practices can improve patient outcomes. The study, which is getting supplemental funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Alex Hillman Foundation, […]

The National Institutes of Nursing Research is putting $3 million toward further research by Linda Aiken, a professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, that is focusing on how changes in nursing practices can improve patient outcomes.

The study, which is getting supplemental funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Alex Hillman Foundation, is looking at nursing practices at some 600 hospitals and hundreds more nursing homes and home care agencies throughout California, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Specifically, it’s focused on examining over time “the impact of changes in nursing resources and patient outcomes before and after the national economic downturn and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” according to announcement from Penn.

“The great strength of the application is that in creating a panel of organizational observations, we can see where change has occurred and why,” Dr. Aiken said.

The study will look at outcomes for patients including minorities and those with chronic illnesses, and determine whether lesser improvement in nursing resources in minority-serving hospitals has widened the disparity in outcomes between white and minority patients. It will also determine the effects of nursing factors in nursing home and home health agency patient outcomes while accounting for variation in patient clinical severity and complexity.

Dr. Aiken’s co-investigators in the study are Matthew McHugh, Douglas Sloane, Ann Kutney-Lee, Olga Jarrin, Herbert Smith and Jeannie Cimiotti.

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