Associations Among Nurse and Certified Nursing Assistant Hours per Resident per Day and Adherence to Guidelines for Treating Nursing Home-Acquired Pneumonia Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Nursing home (NH)-acquired pneumonia (NHAP) causes excessive mortality, hospitalization, and functional decline, partly because many NH residents do not receive appropriate care. Care structures like nurse/resident staffing ratios can impede or abet quality care. This study examines the relationship between nurse/resident staffing ratios, turnover, and adherence to evidence-based guidelines for treating NHAP. METHODS: A prospective, chart-review study was conducted among residents of 16 NHs in three states with > or = 2 signs and symptoms of NHAP during the 2004--2005 influenza season. NH medical records were reviewed concurrently for functional status, comorbidity, NHAP severity, and guideline adherence. Ratio of licensed nurse and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) hours per resident per day (hrpd) and ratio of newly hired nursing staff/year to current nursing staff were provided by Directors of Nursing. Associations among guideline adherence, nurse and CNA hrpd, and turnover were assessed using multiple regression to adjust for case mix, facility characteristics, and clustering of residents in facilities. RESULTS: Mid (1.7-2.0) and high (> 2.0) CNA hrpd were significantly associated with better pneumococcal and influenza vaccination rates. More than 1.2 licensed nurse hrpd was significantly associated with appropriate hospitalization (odds ratio [OR] 12.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.5-43.8) and guideline-recommended antibiotics (OR 3.8; 95% CI, 1.7-8.7). A > 70% turnover was inversely related to timely physician notification (OR 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.7) and appropriate hospitalization (OR 0.09; 95% CI, 0.05-0.26). CONCLUSIONS: NHAP treatment guideline adherence is associated with nurse and CNA hrpd and stability. An NH's ability to implement evidence-based care may depend on adequate staffing ratios and stability.

author list (cited authors)

  • Hutt, E., Radcliff, T. A., Liebrecht, D., Fish, R., McNulty, M., & Kramer, A. M.

citation count

  • 14

publication date

  • October 2008