Using Computer Simulation to Study Nurse-to-Patient Ratios in an Emergency Department
by Philip L. Henneman, Seung Yeob Shin, Yuriy Brun, Hari Balasubramanian, Fidela Blank, Leon J. Osterweil
Abstract:

Objective: To study the impact of nurse-to-patient ratios on patient length of stay (LOS) in computer simulations of Emergency Department (ED) care.

Methods: Multiple 24-hour computer simulations of emergency care were used to evaluate the impact of different minimum nurse-to-patient ratios related to ED LOS, which is composed of wait (arrival to bed placement) and bedtime (bed placement to leave bed).

Results: Increasing the number of patients per nurse resulted in increased ED LOS. Mean bedtimes in minutes were impacted by nurse-to-patient ratios.

Conclusions: In computer simulation of ED care, increasing the number of patients per nurse resulted in increasing delays in care (i.e., increasing bedtime).

Citation:
Philip L. Henneman, Seung Yeob Shin, Yuriy Brun, Hari Balasubramanian, Fidela Blank, and Leon J. Osterweil, Using Computer Simulation to Study Nurse-to-Patient Ratios in an Emergency Department, The Journal of Nursing Administration, vol. 45, no. 11, November 2015, pp. 551–556.
Bibtex:
@article{Henneman15jona,
  author = {Philip L. Henneman and {Seung Yeob} Shin and Yuriy Brun and Hari
  Balasubramanian and Fidela Blank and Leon J. Osterweil},
  title =
  {\href{http://people.cs.umass.edu/brun/pubs/pubs/Henneman15jona.pdf}{Using
  Computer Simulation to Study Nurse-to-Patient Ratios in an Emergency
  Department}},
  journal = {The Journal of Nursing Administration},
  venue = {JoNA},
  year = {2015},
  volume = {45},
  number = {11},
  month = {November},
  pages = {551--556},
  doi = {10.1097/NNA.0000000000000262},
  note = {\href{http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000262}{DOI:
  10.1097/NNA.0000000000000262}},

  abstract = {<p><strong>Objective</strong>: To study the impact of
  nurse-to-patient ratios on patient length of stay (LOS) in computer
  simulations of Emergency Department (ED) care.</p>
  <p><strong>Methods</strong>: Multiple 24-hour computer simulations of
  emergency care were used to evaluate the impact of different minimum
  nurse-to-patient ratios related to ED LOS, which is composed of wait
  (arrival to bed placement) and bedtime (bed placement to leave bed).</p>
  <p><strong>Results</strong>: Increasing the number of patients per nurse
  resulted in increased ED LOS. Mean bedtimes in minutes were impacted by
  nurse-to-patient ratios.</p>
  <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: In computer simulation of ED care,
  increasing the number of patients per nurse resulted in increasing delays
  in care (i.e., increasing bedtime).</p>},

  fundedBy = {NSF IIS-1239334, NSF CNS-1258588, NIST 60NANB13D165},
}