Fostering Participation in Hospital Quality Outcome Studies Targeting Competitive Markets

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M. Raymond Alvarez
Group Vice President
The Specialty Hospital of Washington, D.C.
The workshop examines methods to foster participation in staffing effectiveness and quality outcome research in short and long term acute care hospitals that often are within competing markets. Reluctance to share quality data and staffing information present significant barriers in research. A case study of methods and results be presented.

The likelihood of negative hospital quality outcomes increases when staffing effectiveness is not maintained. Because outsourced nurse utilization in long term acute care hospitals (LTACH) has not been studied, this workshop presents a case study on successful research conducted through a national survey of LTACH nurse executives. Typical LTACH average length of stay (LOS) is five times longer that of short term acute care hospitals (STACH). Examining risk-bearing factors related to quality and financial management can be problematic when seeking participation from short or long term hospitals that may be proprietary or are in highly competitive areas. Staffing effectiveness includes examining variations in levels of outsourced nursing to determine any effect on key quality outcomes. Fluctuations in census and acuity present challenges in workforce management. Determining what a true vacancy rate must be carefully defined. This workshop focuses on what data can be readily available in a potential research subject if assurances of non disclosure as well as effective networking to promote purpose of study are well communicated. It also provides a demonstration of how to use on line survey methods to facilitate ease of participation and data collection as well as education of the research constituent in information needed.