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Call for papers: Conference on computational social science, April 2017, U-M

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Mon, Feb 13, 2017, noon:
Daniel Almirall, "Getting SMART about adaptive interventions"

The effect of a hospital nurse staffing mandate on patient health outcomes: Evidence from California's minimum staffing regulation

Publication Abstract

Cook, A., M. Gaynor, Melvin Stephens, and Lowell J. Taylor. 2012. "The effect of a hospital nurse staffing mandate on patient health outcomes: Evidence from California's minimum staffing regulation." Journal of Health Economics, 31(2): 340-348.

We evaluate the impact of California Assembly Bill 394, which mandated maximum levels of patients per nurse in the hospital setting. When the law was passed, some hospitals already met the requirements, while others did not. Thus changes in staffing ratios from the pre- to post-mandate periods are driven in part by the legislation. We find persuasive evidence that AB394 had the intended effect of decreasing patient/nurse ratios in hospitals that previously did not meet mandated standards. However, these improvements in staffing ratios do not appear to be associated with relative improvements in measured patient safety in affected hospitals. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.01.005 (Full Text)

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