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Fewer staff means 19% more problems for Ontario hospital patients



Life is full of little pricks


What might happen if Tim Hudak gets his way and 100,000 public sector jobs are eliminated?

Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data shows that fewer personnel in hospital nursing units is associated with more problems for patients. 

CIHI reports the number of personnel per patient (or, more exactly, "per weighted case" -- a measure which allows patients with different needs and conditions to be compared). CIHI also reports the number of "nursing sensitive adverse events" for surgical and medical hospital patients -- a measure of errors.  

While austerity has meant that there has been a drive to reduce the staff to patient ratio, there still remains significant variation.  Some hospitals still have higher staffing ratios (if not for long).

In total, there is data for 116 Ontario hospitals in 2010-11.  For hospitals that have been able to maintain at least 7% more staff per patient than the average, there was an astonishing 19.6% fewer "adverse events" for medical patients and 19.4% fewer adverse events for surgical patients.


Hospital 
Hours of staff in nursing units per weighted case
Nursing-Sensitive Adverse Events for Medical Patients (rate per 1,000)
Nursing-Sensitive Adverse Events for Surgical Patients (rate per 1,000)
CIHI Provincial Adjusted Average 

29.79
38.26
Average for hospitals with at least 7% more staff per patient

24.9
32.04
Perecentage increase in errors

19.6%
19.4%
Alexandra Hospital
66.29
43.14

Alexandra Marine and General Hospital
52.83
22.74
23.81
Almonte General Hospital
48.65
20.29
28.93
Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital
41.25
31.29
33.52
Atikokan General Hospital
44.45
32.35

Blind River District Health Centre
43.51
16.36

Bluewater Health
49.59
12.59
23.63
Brant Community Healthcare System
36.64
20.64
29.82
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
42.13
26.01
32.56
Campbellford Memorial Hospital
41.72
36.77

Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital
46.95
16.53

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance
44.00
11.31
10.78
Clinton Public Hospital
50.69
12.72

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital
40.50
23.92
30.3
Cornwall Community Hospital
41.53
19.54
23.17
Deep River and District Hospital
50.18
33.62

Dryden Regional Health Centre
47.82
26.54

Englehart and District Hospital
55.33
12.87

Espanola General Hospital
38.99
23.03

Four Counties Health Services
64.69
24.35

Georgian Bay General Hospital
41.55
8.71
4.14
Grand River Hospital
38.95
36.52
34.86
Grey Bruce Health Services
45.25
30.86
19.47
Groves Memorial Community Hospital
42.27
38.3
30.23
Guelph General Hospital
42.13
35.05
25.7
Haldimand War Memorial Hospital
40.46
23.37
24.67
Haliburton Highlands Health Services
43.72
41.52

Halton Healthcare Services
39.42
26.71
33.2
Hamilton Health Sciences
41.33
40.19
63.81
Hanover and District Hospital
40.24
42.79
77.05
Headwaters Health Care Centre
45.19
18.8
13.9
Health Sciences North / Horizon Santé-Nord
40.56
21.77
25.41
Hornepayne Community Hospital
46.13
20.2

Humber River Regional Hospital
40.21
38.87
36.08
Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital
43.45
24.32
104.15
Hôpital de Mattawa Hospital
60.42
53.48

Hôpital de Smooth Rock Falls Hospital
101.80
15.67

Hôpital général de Hawkesbury & District General Hospital
54.11
38.07
21.28
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital
34.90
31.37
50.28
Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital
34.62
21.03
23.73
Kemptville District Hospital
60.68
25.04

Kingston General Hospital
43.73
39.57
39.78
Kirkland and District Hospital
40.33
18.18
54.92
Lady Dunn Health Centre
47.10
58.67

Lake of the Woods District Hospital
60.97
22.51
59.74
Lakeridge Health
41.58
42.34
53.07
Leamington District Memorial Hospital
41.63
34.69
22.72
Lennox and Addington County General Hospital
41.31
10.76
30.63
Listowel Memorial Hospital
50.19
19.51
73.19
London Health Sciences Centre
44.69
23.15
48.56
MICs Group of Health Services
61.16
23.87

Manitoulin Health Centre
43.46
29.51

Manitouwadge General Hospital
40.38
96.08

Markham Stouffville Hospital
38.00
32.56
36.05
Montfort Hospital
53.59
65.6
37.79
Mount Sinai Hospital
45.39
40.8
54.21
Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare
53.40
14.11
27.62
Niagara Health System
40.68
39.65
48.19
Nipigon District Memorial Hospital
46.28
4.31

Norfolk General Hospital
40.54
29.95
63.67
North Bay Regional Health Centre-North Bay Site
49.49
18.63
27.11
North Wellington Health Care Corporation
53.01
24.27
42.73
North York General Hospital
39.63
20.74
26.62
Northumberland Hills Hospital
50.33
26.57
8.53
Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital
44.49
43.34
40.36
Pembroke Regional Hospital Inc.
46.52
46.76
33.15
Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
52.87
5.12
13.9
Peterborough Regional Health Centre
40.30
28.12
15.8
Queensway-Carleton Hospital
40.39
39.32
28.26
Quinte Health Care
41.07
27.31
35.26
Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital
57.14
12.25

Renfrew Victoria Hospital
37.09
78.76
50.8
Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc.
52.70
15.18
13.18
Ross Memorial Hospital
44.11
21.46
21.73
Rouge Valley Health System
40.91
29.46
17.04
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
40.48
38.85
37.48
Sault Area Hospital
40.51
24.31
32.73
Seaforth Community Hospital
90.87
14.25

Sensenbrenner Hospital
25.58
6.05

Services de santé de Chapleau Health Services
41.43
22.28

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre
51.81
14.7
22.27
South Bruce Grey Health Centre
48.77
17.58

Southlake Regional Health Centre
39.42
32.69
22.11
St. Francis Memorial Hospital
34.90
32.09

St. Joseph's General Hospital [Elliot Lake]
42.40
2.25

St. Joseph's Health Centre - Toronto
39.97
27.87
35.67
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
43.92
43.36
47.48
St. Mary's General Hospital
37.55
20.07
41.76
St. Marys Memorial Hospital
61.03
11.3

St. Michael's Hospital
45.76
38.04
35
St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital
46.07
47.79
73.64
Stevenson Memorial Hospital
45.56
18.01

Stratford General Hospital
53.80
14.41
39.64
Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital
45.56
19.46
33.67
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
42.98
40.89
38.97
Temiskaming Hospital
43.56
6.03
7.24
The Credit Valley Hospital
41.06
27.22
34.62
The Ottawa Hospital & Heart Institute
43.56
42.73
50.74
The Scarborough Hospital
40.66
20.41
26.05
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
36.98
30.93
31.55
Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital
42.18
9.52
11.42
Timmins and District Hospital
46.23
16.71
26.75
Toronto East General Hospital
43.48
22.19
46.99
Trillium Health Centre
37.07
19.74
39.77
University Health Network
43.30
35.98
47.3
West Haldimand General Hospital
50.80
27.8
55.15
West Lincoln Memorial Hospital
45.25
40.58
20.94
West Nipissing General Hospital
36.73
5.42

West Parry Sound Health Centre
39.41
18.78
35.19
William Osler Health System
40.29
26.3
44.95
Wilson Memorial General Hospital
35.10
28.6

Winchester District Memorial Hospital
51.06
23.78
6.01
Windsor Regional Hospital
37.51
26.2
30.46
Wingham and District Hospital
48.50
34.3

Woodstock General Hospital
42.54
26.7
45.21
York Central Hospital
37.19
43.56
40.43
Data drawn from CIHI CHRP_HSCDE_XLS_EN.xls and CHRP_HSPDE_XLS_EN.xls

Increased errors are also found if you compare Ontario with the Canada-wide average. 

An Ontario patient receives a full 6.1 hours less care by personnel in nursing units than the Canada-wide average, with the gap between Ontario and the rest of Canada growing. Accordingly, over the last three reported years, nursing sensitive adverse events for surgical and medical patients averaged 5.1% higher in Ontario compared to the Canada-wide average. If Ontario could be removed from the Canada-wide average, the discrepancy would be quite a bit higher.

Bottom line: If Hudak does get his way, expect more a lot more problems and errors.  

For hospital workers, BEWARE:  the finger of blame will be pointed at you for the errors. The responsible politicians will deny any connection to staff cuts, even while the cuts make these errors more and more inevitable. 


Comments

  1. It was almost one year ago the ONA met with Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi requesting a moratorium on nursing job cuts across the province. We still losing valuable nurses. Hudak has promised to protect front line workers. The only jobs cut will be done through attrition. Who are you really protecting? Read his platform. Don't fool yourself.

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