Journal Article

Hospital Staffing and Health Care–Associated Infections: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Robert A. Weinstein, Patricia W. Stone, Monika Pogorzelska, Laureen Kunches and Lisa R. Hirschhorn

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 47, issue 7, pages 937-944
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/591696
Hospital Staffing and Health Care–Associated Infections: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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In the past 10 years, many researchers have examined relationships between hospital staffing and patients' risk of health care–associated infection (HAI). To gain understanding of this evidence base, a systematic review was conducted, and 42 articles were audited. The most common infection studied was bloodstream infection (n=18; 43%). The majority of researchers examined nurse staffing (n=38; 90%); of these, only 7 (18%) did not find a statistically significant association between nurse staffing variable(s) and HAI rates. Use of nonpermanent staff was associated with increased rates of HAI in 4 studies (P<.05). Three studies addressed infection control professional staffing with mixed results. Physician staffing was not found to be associated with patients' HAI risk (n=2). The methods employed and operational definitions used for both staffing and HAI varied; despite this variability, trends were apparent. Research characterizing effective staffing for infection control departments is needed.

Journal Article.  5068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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