- A state review has concluded nurses at University of Louisville Hospital are so overworked that patient care and safety are sometimes compromised, Louisville Business First reports.
- The review, by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family (CHF), found nurses have more patients than they can handle and that patients needing intensive care are backed up in the emergency department.
- CHF conducted the review after a surgeon expressed concerns about safety at the hospital.
The June 14-20 review looked at the care of 24 patients and found three instances where nursing deficiencies led to patient endangerment. The most serious was a critically ill patient who was intubated in the ED rather than ICU. When the patient vomited, no suction equipment was readily available, forcing a nurse to go to a second location in search of such equipment.
Elsewhere, nurses picketed outside St. Louis University Hospital to protest unsafe staffing levels, St. Louis Public Radio reports.
National Nurses United, which is three months into contract negotiations with hospital officials, maintains that optimal staffing levels — set out in the hospital’s guidelines — were not met on 58% of shifts during a three-week period.
With the growing shortage of health providers in the U.S., burnout is a serious concern. In a recent survey of primary care and emergency department physicians, conducted by InCrowd, 74% said their healthcare organizations weren’t taking effective steps to reduce or prevent burnout.
Another survey, published by Medscape, shows average burnout rates of 55% among critical care, urology and emergency medicine physicians. Topping the factors contributing to burnout is excessive bureaucratic tasks.