Emergency room visits increased with nurse overtime, the study found. Findings support prior research that suggests nurse performance falters when work extends into overtime, according to the study.
More nurses and less nurse overtime reduced overall healthcare spending, the research found, though hospitals saw labor costs climb and revenue drop.
Hospitals that boosted non-overtime nurse labor by 0.75 hours per patient day increased labor expenses by around $146 per patient. Fewer readmissions also reduced hospital revenue by about $52 per patient. However, payers saved roughly $608 per patient when discharged patients did not return to the hospital, for an overall reduction in health spending of about $410 per patient, the study said.
The research was funded by the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative.