Better hospital care linked to happy staff

Better performing hospitals make for happier healthcare workers, suggests a new study published yesterday by BMJ Quality and Safety.

Staff at hospitals with lower mortality rates were happier with the standard of care they provided than staff at other hospitals, according to the research, which looked at the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS).

Researchers from Imperial College London used a 2009 survey filled out by 60,000 doctors, nurses, administrative and support staff at 147 acute general NHS hospitals in England. Nurses at low-mortality hospitals were happiest with quality of care, but satisfaction levels were high across functional groups.

Researchers were cautious in their conclusions. The "weak correlation" between staff satisfaction and mortality rates were worth further investigation, they said, and could play a role in which hospitals patients choose to provide care.

"Whether higher staff satisfaction drives quality or merely reflects it remains unclear," they noted.

Last year a separate study found patients in hospitals providing nurses a good working environment were less likely to be readmitted than those in hospitals with a poor nurse work environment. In that study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing examined data from 200,000-plus nurses in 412 hospitals across three states.

To learn more:
-read the study abstract
- here's the research announcement