National initiatives driven by the American Nurses Association have determined nursing-sensitive outcome indicators that are intended to focus plans and programs to increase quality and safety in patient care. The following outcomes are commonly used nursing-sensitive indicators:
Complications such as urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, hospital acquired pneumonia, and DVT
Surgical patient complications, including infection, pulmonary failure, and metabolic derangement
Length of patient hospital stay
Incidence of failure to rescue, which could potentially result in increased morbidity or mortality
Nurse satisfaction and staffing
Mr. J is a 72-year-old retired rabbi with a diagnosis of mild dementia. He was admitted for treatment of a fractured right hip after falling in his home. He has received pain medication and is drowsy, but he answers simple questions appropriately.
A week after Mr. J was admitted to the hospital, his daughter, who lives eight hours away, came to visit. She found him restrained in bed. While Mr. J was slightly sleepy, he recognized his daughter and was able to ask her to remove the restraints so he could be helped to the bathroom. His daughter went to get a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to remove the restraints and help her father to the bathroom. When the CNA was in the process of helping Mr. J sit up in bed, his daughter noticed a red, depressed area over Mr. J’s lower spine, similar to a severe sunburn. She reported the incident to the CNA who replied, “Oh, that is not anything to worry about. It will go away as soon as he gets up.” The CNA helped Mr. J to the bathroom and then returned him to bed where she had him lie on his back so she could reapply the restraints.
The diet order for Mr. J was “regular, kosher, chopped meat.” The day after his daughter arrived, Mr. J was alone in his room when his meal tray was delivered. The nurse entered the room 30 minutes later and observed that Mr. J had eaten approximately 75% of the meal. The meal served was labeled, “regular, chopped meat.” The tray contained the remains of a chopped pork cutlet.
The nurse notified the supervisor, who said, “Just keep it quiet. It will be okay.” The nursing supervisor then notified the kitchen supervisor of the error. The kitchen supervisor told the staff on duty what had happened.