The aim of this study was to examine the effect of patient turnover and acuity on worked hours per patient day (WHPPD).
An examination of staffing plans publically posted by Massachusetts hospitals with more than 300 beds revealed that less than 40% were within 5% of their planned versus actual WHPPD.
Three years of WHPPD data collected from 14 adult acute care units were correlated with patient turnover and acuity data. A weight factor was retrospectively added to 8 paired units’ planned WHPPD where correlations were identified.
Twelve units (86%) showed significant correlations between WHPPD and patient turnover. Correlations between patient acuity and WHPPD were significant only at the aggregate level. After weighting WHPPD, the 8 paired units demonstrated a decreased variance between planned and actual WHPPD.
Using a weight factor added to WHPPD to right size acute care medical-surgical units may be useful for accurate staff planning and budgeting.
Author Affiliations: Director of Nursing Informatics (Dr Tierney), UMass Memorial Medical Center; Dean (Dr Seymour-Route), Graduate School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts; Associate Professor (Dr Crawford), Department of Medicine, Medical School, University of Massachusetts, Worcester.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Correspondence: Dr Tierney, UMass Memorial Medical Center, University Campus Room HB-311, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA 01655 (firstname.lastname@example.org).