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Decreasing the Costs of Constant Observation

Rausch, Danielle LaPage MA, RN, PMHNP-BC; Bjorklund, Pamela PhD, RN, CNS-BC, PMHNP-BC

Journal of Nursing Administration: February 2010 - Volume 40 - Issue 2 - p 75-81
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181cb9f56

A performance improvement project employed a bachelor's-prepared psychiatric liaison nurse (PLN) to reduce one-to-one (1:1) constant observation (CO) on all medical patient-care areas of a large, metropolitan hospital. The project succeeded in cutting the costs of CO in half. It showed that PLNs can safely facilitate large reductions in CO without associated increases in falls or restraint prevalence, yielding significant cost savings for hospitals.

Authors' Affiliations: Psychiatric Liaison Nurse (Ms Rausch), Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Associate Professor (Dr Bjorklund), Department of Graduate Nursing, College of St Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota.

Corresponding author: Ms Rausch, 800 E 28th St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.