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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2010||The Effect of Hospital Nurse Staffing on Patient Health Outcomes: Evidence from California's Minimum Staffing Regulation|
with Martin Gaynor, Melvin Stephens, Jr., Lowell Taylor: w16077
Hospitals are currently under pressure to control the cost of medical care, while at the same time improving patient health outcomes. These twin concerns are at play in an important and contentious decision facing hospitals--choosing appropriate nurse staffing levels. Intuitively, one would expect nurse staffing ratios to be positively associated with patient outcomes. If so, this should be a key consideration in determining nurse staffing levels. A number of recent studies have examined this issue, however, there is concern about whether a causal relationship has been established. In this paper we exploit an arguably exogenous shock to nurse staffing levels. We look at the impact of California Assembly Bill 394, which mandated minimum levels of patients per nurse in the hospital set...
Published: The Eect of Hospital Nurse Stang on Patient Health Outcomes: Evidence from California's Minimum Stang Regulation" (with Andrew Cook, Marty Gaynor, and Lowell Taylor) Journal of Health Economics , March 2012, Vol. 31, p.340-348 (See also NBER WP #16077 )