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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000351491.84358.60
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NewsCAP: Do mandated staffing standards actually alter staffing decisions in nursing homes?

Section Editor(s): Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN; Jacobson, Joy

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E-mail: shawn.kennedy@wolterskluwer.com

joy.jacobson@wolterskluwer.com

Do mandated staffing standards actually alter staffing decisions in nursing homes? This question was the subject of a study in the February issue of Health Services Research of nursing homes in 16 states that implemented new state standards between 1998 and 2001. Park and Stearns found that higher standards affected only those facilities with staff levels initially below or close to the new standards, likely because of the potential for penalties. But under the new mandates, both for- and nonprofit facilities showed reductions in restraint use and total deficiencies. The authors say that these improvements may be "due to either … a general response to increased standards or … other quality improvements implemented at the same time as minimum staffing standards."

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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