Overworked staff leads to patients spending too much time in bed

From the Skeptical Scalpel blog: http://skepticalscalpel.blogspot.com/2013/10/hospitalized-elderly-patients-spend-too.html

 

43 minutes—that’s the median length of time a hospitalized elderly patient spends standing or walking daily, reports a New York Times story. Not only that, the study from which the 43 minutes number came also noted that elderly spend 83% of their hospitalizations lying in bed.
The paper was a study of the activity of elderly patients who spent about 6 hours per day on their feet before they were admitted. Failure to walk around in the hospital had significant negative effects on the activity levels of patients for as long as two years after discharge from the hospital.
That brings up the question, why didn’t they walk more?
According to the New York Times, “Even when physicians recognize the hazards of immobility and write orders that include ambulation, overworked staff can’t always find the time.”
A lack of a minimum standard of care means nurses may be trying to care for too many patients at one time, and patients may lie in bed without seeing a nurse for some time.  Even if they’re in pain or need to be ambulatory as part of their recovery plan.
Read more at the Skeptical Scalpel
Story also at the New York Times

Patient Story

arlene townsend staffing award

Unsafe staffing costs a Florida facility $1 billion

From Trial Magazine, March 2014 issue: Trial Magazine, 3/11/14 VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. She is survived by her adult son. Townsend’s estate sued Trans Healthcare, alleging that it had understaffed the nursing home to increase profits and failed to provide adequate care, including protecting Townsend from falls, ensuring a safe environment, and documenting changes to her condition. The court entered a judgment of liability against the defendant, and the…
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