No proven connection between long-term care staffing levels and quality of care, researchers say

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SNF staffing data will be submitted quarterly, payroll vendors might be responsible, CMS officials s
SNF staffing data will be submitted quarterly, payroll vendors might be responsible, CMS officials s

Despite some high-profile reports, nursing home staffing levels have not been definitively linked to better care, according to a recently published analysis of research on the topic.

Investigators based in New York City and the Netherlands scoured four databases for longitudinal studies examining the relationship between nursing home staffing and quality of care (QoC). They analyzed 20 studies that met their criteria.

“No consistent relationship was found between nurse staffing and QoC,” the team wrote.

The research has suggested higher staffing levels are associated with both better and worse showings on quality indicators, such as incidence of restraint use and pressure ulcers, the analysts found. But there is doubt.

While “positive indications were suggested” between staffing and quality, some of the research contained “major methodological and theoretical weaknesses,” according to the investigators. They called for “well-designed” studies to explore this topic further.

Their findings appear in JAMDA.

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