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NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

Student Name

Capella University

NHS-FPX 6008 Economics and Decision Making in Health Care

Prof. Name:

Date

Lobbying for Change

 

The Honorable Xavier Becerra

Secretary of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Xavier,

I am writing to express urgent concern over the critical economic issue of inadequate nurse staffing in our healthcare institutions, particularly in ICU wards. Research indicates that insufficient nurse-to-patient ratios are directly linked to increased healthcare costs, with hospitals experiencing a surge in medication errors by 14%, hospital-acquired infections by 19%, and extended hospital stays by 24% (Griffiths et al., 2023). This not only compromises patient care but also leads to significant financial strain on healthcare facilities due to the need for temporary staffing solutions and overtime pay, costing the healthcare system millions annually (Cho et al., 2019). Moreover, our community is feeling the impact of longer wait times for medical services, diminished quality of care, and heightened risks to patient health. The economic and human cost of this issue necessitates immediate action to ensure the health and well-being of our constituents.

Addressing the critical issue of inadequate nurse staffing yields substantial positive outcomes, while failing to do so exacerbates existing problems. Positive changes, if action is taken, include significantly enhanced patient care and safety. Studies indicate that improving nurse-to-patient ratios can decrease hospital-acquired infections by up to 30% and reduce medical errors by nearly 28%, directly correlating with heightened patient satisfaction (Collard et al., 2020). Economically, this translates to a potential reduction in healthcare costs, saving hospitals approximately $68,000 annually per additional full-time registered nurse employed by avoiding the costs of adverse health outcomes (Lake et al., 2020). Moreover, addressing this issue can boost job satisfaction among nurses, reducing turnover rates by up to 20%, which in turn fosters a more stable and experienced nursing workforce (Yu et al. 2024).

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

Conversely, neglecting the nurse staffing crisis leads to dire consequences. The quality of patient care will continue to deteriorate, potentially increasing mortality rates by up to 5% for each patient added to a nurse’s workload (Griffiths et al., 2023). Healthcare costs will surge due to the financial ramifications of poor patient outcomes and the increased reliance on temporary staffing solutions, with hospitals facing additional expenses upwards of $500,000 annually related to staffing inefficiencies (Cho et al., 2019). The cycle of nurse burnout and high turnover rates will further escalate, compromising the healthcare system’s capacity to deliver essential care and exacerbating staffing shortages (Twigg et al., 2021).

Addressing nurse staffing inadequacies is critical, requiring consideration of empirical evidence alongside ethical, cultural, and diversity principles in healthcare. Griffiths et al. (2023) illustrate a direct link between nurse-to-patient ratios and patient outcomes, including reduced mortality and fewer hospital-acquired infections, highlighting both healthcare quality improvements and economic benefits through cost savings by avoiding preventable complications. Similarly, Togioka et al. (2023) emphasize the role of adequate staffing in reducing healthcare disparities and enhancing access for marginalized populations, thus promoting health equity.

This aspect is especially vital in culturally diverse communities, underlining the need for a staffing model that is responsive and adaptable to varying healthcare needs.  Moreover, evidence-based strategies for nurse retention, as discussed by Järvinen et al. (2022) and Veigh et al. (2021), such as competitive salaries and flexible working conditions, directly contribute to reducing turnover and fostering a stable nursing workforce.

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

These measures not only improve the work environment but also ensure that nurses are available to meet patient needs effectively. Zakaria et al. (2021) further emphasize the importance of integrating ethical, cultural, and diversity considerations into staffing policies, advocating for a healthcare environment that respects and values the diverse backgrounds and experiences of both patients and healthcare providers.

Such an approach is essential for delivering culturally competent care, which, in turn, enhances patient satisfaction and outcomes. Addressing nurse staffing shortages at the institutional level boosts operational efficiency and financial health, while at local and state levels, it enhances public health outcomes and reduces healthcare costs by expanding access to quality care. Nationally, establishing strong staffing standards demonstrates a dedication to healthcare excellence and innovation, emphasizing equity, cultural competence, and diversity in care delivery (Twigg et al., 2021).

Our integrated experiences have shaped a strategic approach to resource planning and risk analysis in tackling nurse staffing challenges. Personal experiences reveal the vital connection between staffing levels, patient outcomes, and staff morale, highlighting the urgency for action (Collard et al., 2020). Professionally, witnessing high turnover and recruitment challenges underscores the need for strategic changes, emphasizing competitive salaries and professional development as essential for nurse retention (Lake et al., 2020).

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

Organizationally, the economic pressures from staffing shortages, leading to higher operational costs and reduced care quality, have driven us towards innovative staffing models and educational partnerships to ensure a consistent nurse supply (Yu et al., 2024). This experience informs a risk analysis that considers the dangers of inaction, such as reduced patient safety and institutional reputation, and the complexities of implementing changes, including financial investment and addressing resistance (Collard et al., 2020). This approach balances immediate needs with the long-term sustainability of nurse staffing.

I look forward to your response and am hopeful for your support in addressing this crucial issue that impacts the health and well-being of our nation’s citizens.

Sincerely,

———–

References

Cho, S., Lee, J., You, S. J., Song, K. J., & Hong, K. J. (2019). Nurse staffing, nurses prioritization, missed care, quality of nursing care, and nurse outcomes. International Journal of Nursing Practice26(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/ijn.12803 

Collard, S. S., Scammell, J., & Tee, S. (2020). Closing the gap on nurse retention: A scoping review of implications for undergraduate education. Nurse Education Today84(84), 104253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2019.104253 

Griffiths, P., Saville, C., Ball, J., Dall’Ora, C., Meredith, P., Turner, L., & Jones, J. (2023). Costs and cost-effectiveness of improved nurse staffing levels and skill mix in acute hospitals: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies147(147), 104601. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2023.104601 

Järvinen, S., Heikkilä, J., Meyermanova, I., Kuanysh, Z., & Molotov‐Luchanskiy, V. (2022). Improvements in the infrastructure for nursing research in universities in Kazakhstan. International Nursing Reviewhttps://doi.org/10.1111/inr.12791 

Lake, E. T., Riman, K. A., & Sloane, D. M. (2020). Improved work environments and staffing lead to less missed nursing care: A panel study. Journal of Nursing Management28(8). https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12970  

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 4 Lobbying for Change

Togioka, B. M., Duvivier, D., & Young, E. (2023, August 14). Diversity and discrimination in healthcare. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK568721/

Twigg, D. E., Whitehead, L., Doleman, G., & El‐Zaemey, S. (2021). The impact of nurse staffing methodologies on nurse and patient outcomes: A systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing77(12). https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.14909 

Veigh, C. M., Reid, J., Carswell, C., Ace, L., Walsh, I., Graham-Wisener, L., Rej, S., Potes, A., Atkinson, K., Edginton, T., & Noble, H. (2021). Mindfulness as a well-being initiative for future nurses: a survey with undergraduate nursing students. BMC Nursing20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-021-00783-0 

Yu, X., Li, M., Du, M., Wang, Y., Liu, Y., & Wang, H. (2024). Exploring factors that affect nurse staffing: A descriptive qualitative study from nurse managers’ perspective. BMC Nursing23(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-024-01766-7 

Zakaria, M., Karim, R., Rahman, M., Cheng, F., & Xu, J. (2021). Disparity in physician-patient communication by ethnicity: evidence from Bangladesh. International Journal for Equity in Health20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-021-01405-6 

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