Nurse work environment a key driver of performance: 4 findings


A nurse's work environment has as much influence as nurse staffing on performance across most measures, according to a recent Press Ganey Holdings report called "Nursing Special Report: The Influence of Nurse Work Environment on Patient, Payment and Nurse Outcomes in Acute Care Settings."

The report — which comes from statistical analysis of National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, HCAHPS, engagement and pay-for-performance data — examines relationships between nurse work environment, staffing and key performance measures. These areas of the nurse work environment have the largest impact on patient, pay-for- performance and nurse outcomes, and improvement opportunities to optimize efficiency and reduce patient suffering.

Here are four findings from the report.

1. HCAHPS patient experience performance is significantly correlated with nursing hours per patient day and with RN hours per patient day, with the latter revealing stronger associations across every dimension of the patient experience. The more RN hours per patient day, the higher the HCAHPS patient experience performance.

2. HCAHPS scores across all patient experience domains respond favorably to better work environments, regardless of staffing composite scores.

3. Even hospitals with high nurse staffing scores fall below the overall mean of patient experience scores when nursing work environments are poor.

4. Nursing work environments that are effective and efficient enhance patient and nurse perceptions of care quality.

“Nurses are vital to ensuring delivery of safe, effective and compassionate care across every sector of health care,” Christy Dempsey, Press Ganey CNO, said in a news release. “These findings clearly demonstrate that the quality of the nursing work environment significantly influences nurses’ ability to reduce suffering for patients and caregivers alike.”

The full report may be downloaded here.


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Kaiser Permanente's mental health workers to strike: 6 things to know
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Need help designing a new hospital? Ask a nurse


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