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Quantitative study—other
Higher nurse staffing levels associated with reductions in unplanned readmissions to intensive care or operating theatre, and in postoperative in-hospital mortality in heart surgery patients
  1. Steven A Frost1,2,
  2. Evan Alexandrou1,2
  1. 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Department of Intensive Care, Intensive Care, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:Steven A Frost
    University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown Campus, Bld 7 locked bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia; S.Frost{at}

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Commentary on: Diya L, Van den Heede K, Sermeus W, Lesaffre E. The relationship between in-hospital mortality, readmission into the intensive care nursing unit and/or operating theatre and nurse staffing levels. J Adv Nurs 2012;68:1073–81.

Implications for practice and research

  • Higher nurse staffing levels for postoperative care of cardiac surgery patients reduces the risk of unplanned re-admission to the intensive care or operating theatre and in-hospital mortality.

  • Larger international studies are needed to assess the effect of nurse staffing levels and risk of hospital-wide adverse events.


The effect of nurse staffing levels associated with adverse events in the hospital setting has been an important area of patient safety research. Market forces, in particular in North America, have resulted in efforts to reduce costs in …

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  • Competing interests None.