Registered nurses continue to emphasize staffing issues as an ongoing concern, one that influences the safety of patients, which has been directly linked to outcomes. But how nurse-to-patient ratio affect patients in digital health?
Rising patient acuity and shortened hospital stays have contributed to challenges for care management outside acute hospital settings prompting an increase in chronic care management initiatives and remote patient monitoring.
Finding an optimal nurse-to-patient ratio has been a national challenge and continues to be debated in many states. Health care leaders have an opportunity to create innovative strategies through a collaborative effort and to develop solutions that will build a safer environment for patients – but as healthcare adopts digital health and Telehealth initiates there’s still no regulations on nurse-to-patio ratio.
The estimated nurse-patient ratio for the following services is astounding.
- Remote Patient Monitoring – 400 to 600 patients daily
- Chronic Care Management – 400 to 600 patients daily
- Telehealth Services – 20 to 24 patient daily
Ratios are important – a consensus seems to be supporting a range of 4 to 6 patients per nurse in most hospital inpatient settings, but no studies have been completed on nurse-patient staffing in remote patient care or Tele-Care. However, ratios must be modified by the nurses’ level of experience, the patients’ characteristics (e.g., acuity level or debility), and the quality of clinical interaction between the nurses and the patient. So the question is how do we accurately measure the true nurse-to-patient ratio in digital health.