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Measuring the nursing workload in intensive care with the Nursing Activities Score (NAS): A prospective study in 16 hospitals in Belgium

Bruyneel, A., Tack, J., Droguet, M., Maes, J., Wittebole, X., Miranda, D. R. & Di Pierdomenico, L., Dec-2019, In : Journal of Critical Care. 54, p. 205-211 7 p.

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  • Measuring the nursing workload in intensive care with the NursingActivities Score (NAS

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DOI

  • Arnaud Bruyneel
  • Jerome Tack
  • Marie Droguet
  • Julie Maes
  • Xavier Wittebole
  • D. Reis Miranda
  • Lionel Di Pierdomenico

Purpose: The evaluation of nursing workload is a common practice in intensive care units (ICUs). It allows the calculation of an optimal nurse/patient ratio (N/P) which is a major challenge to ensuring the quality of care while controlling the costs of health care. The objectives of this study were, therefore, to evaluate the N/P ratio and to study nursing activities in intensive care in French-speaking Belgium.

Methods: The Nursing Activities Score (NAS) was prospectively recorded by shift for two periods of one month each in 16 French-speaking Belgian hospitals for a total of 316 ICU beds in 24 ICUs.

Results: We included 3377 patients in the study, of which 64% were medical (versus surgical). The results for 24-hour NAS (68.6%) were significantly different from the NAS per shift (Morning: 61.3%, Afternoon: 58.4%, Night: 55.0%). Outliers were significantly more prevalent among men and patients who died and outliers had longer stays in the ICU. Finally, mobilization-positioning and clinical-administrative tasks took, on average, more time for nurses in the ICU.

Conclusions: There is a significant difference in N/P ratio between the Belgian regulation (1/3) and the one calculated by the NAS (1/1.5). A systematic objective assessment of shift workload should be done to avoid N/P ratio differences in intensive care. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Volume54
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2019

    Keywords

  • Nursing activities score, Workload, Intensive care unit, Shift, PRESSURE ULCERS, 9 EQUIVALENTS, MORTALITY, UNITS, SYSTEM, ICU, NURSES, ASSOCIATION, MULTICENTER, COUNTRIES

ID: 109921930