Better work environment for nurses tied to lower C. diff rates

Nurses at the bedside play a key role in prevention of hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile in patients, a new study has found.

Hospitals that scored higher on the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index had a lower instance of C. diff infections, suggesting that a focus on positive, supportive work environments for nurses in hospitals does have a relationship to C. diff infection rates in patients. 

It may be the first study to look at a link between nurses' work environments and hospital-onset C. diff, according to the study published May 11 and led by researchers from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.

According to the study, the index measures four key aspects of nursing work environments including:

  1. Nurse managers' leadership and support of staff nurses

  2. Participation of nurses in hospital affairs

  3. How collegial the physician-nurse relationship is

  4. Adequate staffing and resource availability

Researchers analyzed 2016 data from 15,982 nurses employed in 353 acute care hospitals and compared it with 2016 hospital-onset C. diff infection data from CMS' Hospital Compare as well as data from the American Hospital Association.

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