Homecare nursing shortage leads to discharge delays

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A homecare nursing shortage is the primary cause of delayed hospital discharges for children being discharged to home care for the first time, according to a new study from Pediatric Home Service. Delayed discharge occurred in 68.5% of patients new to homecare with 46.3% due to not having available homecare nursing. The nursing shortage accounted for an average length of stay increase of more than 53 days for new patients. The study also shows that medical setbacks, not failed home care, account for 97% of 90-day readmissions. “Our findings clearly demonstrate the negative impact the shortage of home care nurses has on this population. Waiting for home care nurses to be hired prolongs hospitalization of technology dependent children,” said Dr. Roy Maynard, PHS medical director. “More must be done to attract caregivers to this profession, so these children have the opportunity to thrive at home with their family.”