Low staffing levels hold back hospital revenue, patient satisfaction scores

Hospitals could treat more patients, increase revenue and improve patient satisfaction if they hired more staff to work directly with patients, a new study finds.

Hospital human resources managers and other leaders said they're forced to turn patients away because they don't have enough staff, according to an announcement. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said their patient satisfaction scores would improve if they were better staffed, the study by recruiting outsourcer Clinical Magnet and HR publisher HRO Today found.

More than half also said their greatest obstacle in offering wellness programs is lack of qualified staff, according to the announcement.

Nursing shortages plague many hospitals. A sampling of 141 acute-care hospitals surveyed in 2015 reported a nursing vacancy rate of at least 10 percent, FierceHealthcare previously reported.  

Hospital systems like Northwell Health, formerly North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, also are emphasizing recruitment of nonclinical patient-facing positions such as front desk clerks and other greeters who can provide superior customer service.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- download the study