June 13, 2019

Hospital staffing models associated with failure to rescue rates

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

Hospitals with low failure to rescue (FTR) rates had significantly more staffing resources than hospitals with high FTR rates, this study finds.

In this analysis of 44,567 surgical patients in the Michigan Quality Surgical Collaborative, hospital FTR rates across low, middle and high tertiles were 8.9%, 16.5%, and 19.9%, respectively.

Compared with high FTR, low FTR hospitals tended to have:

  • a closed ICU staffing model (56% vs 20%)
  • a higher proportion of board-certified intensivists (88% vs 60%)
  • significantly more staffing by hospitalists (85% vs 20%) and residents (62% vs 40%)
  • more overnight coverage (75% vs 45%)
  • a dedicated rapid response team (90% vs 60%).

Though hiring more staff may be beneficial, there remains significant financial limitations for many hospitals to implement robust staffing models, the researchers say. Ongoing work will seek to improve rescue and implement effective staffing strategies within financial constraints.

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