Recent Articles


Better Nurse Staffing Saves Lives

Better Nurse Staffing Saves Lives

New research from JAMA Surgery confirms that better nurse staffing saves lives.

Once again a study has found that the better a facility’s nurse staffing levels, the lower patient mortality is as a result.

This most recent study was published this week in JAMA Surgery. Data was drawn from nearly 26,000 Medicare general surgery patients who had been treated between 2004 and 2006 in Illinois, Texas, and New York hospitals. It found that the better staffed with nurses a hospital was, the less likely it was that a patient would die or be sent to ICU.

Beyond the benefits to patient care and mortality rates, the study found that the total cost of surgery stayed around $27,000 regardless of if it was a higher or lower staffed hospital.

Lead study author Dr. Jeffrey Silber, Director of the Center for Outcomes Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said that hospitals that had staffed better had “a formula for excellent value.”

While the debate over nurse staffing certainly continues, it is helpful to access studies such as the recent JAMA Surgery report to help guide your hospital’s staffing strategies!


Joint Commission to Suspend Top Performers

The Joint Commission will suspend Top Performers, with plans to resume in 2017.

The Joint Commission will suspend Top Performers, with plans to resume in 2017.

The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report is now available.

“This year’s report summarizes performance data collected during 2014 on 49 accountability measures of care in 12 measure sets — the most diverse set of data ever collected from American hospitals by The Joint Commission for this report,” writes Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, President and CEO of The Joint Commission.

Big news emerging from the report includes the fact that The Joint Commission will suspend its Top Performers list for 2016, with plans to evaluate the program and resume in 2017. The report indicates that over the past couple of years there have been a lot of changes to the performance measurements for hospitals.

“Due to the evolving national performance measure environment particularly within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services — we have decided to place the current Top Performer program in hiatus for a year to be reevaluated,” writes Chassin. “While we won’t be recognizing Top Performer hospitals in the fall of 2016, I am confident that hospitals will continue to improve, and that in 2017, we will return with a refreshed program that will better fit the evolving national measure environment while supporting Top Performers and hospitals on track to achieving this recognition.”

In 2015, 3,300 hospitals submitted data for the 2015 report and 31.5% (or 1,043 hospitals) landed on the Top Performers list. The 2015 list utilized 49 accountability measures as criteria for evaluating hospital performance on evidence-based care processes.   

Click here to see a full PDF of The Joint Commission’s Annual Report for 2015.  


Celebrate Allied Health Professionals Week 2015!

Celebrate Allied Health Professionals Week 2015!

Celebrate Allied Health Professionals Week 2015!

With more than 200 various Allied Health Professional positions making an impact in healthcare and — undoubtedly — at your facility, it is a great idea for the good of your hospital culture to celebrate Allied Health Professionals Week 2015!  

Allied Health Professionals Week will be observed November 1-7, 2015. It’s a great opportunity to reach out with a card, a banner, or even just a pat on the back and some kind words, to let your Allied Health staff know that you appreciate everything they contribute to quality patient care.

Medical Solutions is celebrating the occasion with a fun, interactive contest.

Allied Health Pros are invited to visit and share their title and favorite part of their job — for the chance to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards.

Click here to learn more and be sure to share this contest with your Allied Health team. I bet they’d be pretty grateful if your heads up helped them win $100!


Ethics Webinar for Nurse Leaders

Ethics Webinar for Nurse Leaders

Got Ethics? Check out this ethics webinar for nurse leaders.

In keeping with the American Nurses Association’s pronouncement of 2015 as “The Year of Ethics,” the ANA is offering a webinar entitled “Ethical Challenges Facing Nursing Leaders: Your Path to Success.”

The objectives for the webinar are:

  • Outlining ethical challenges healthcare/nursing leaders face today
  • Teaching how to “leverage the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses to identify and address elements of safety, quality, and patient care delivery in nursing”
  • Advising on how to foster and manage an ethical culture for nursing practices

This ethics webinar for nurse leaders will be offered Wednesday, November 4, 2015, from 1-2 p.m. EST and does offer one contact hour for successful completion.

Hospital leaders and nursing leaders can greatly benefit their culture and the experience of their staff and patients by paying attention to in-house ethical practices.

Click here to learn more about this ethics webinar for nurse leaders and/or to register yourself or your team members. 


Recognize Travel Nurses Day 2015 at Your Facility

Recognize Travel Nurses Day 2015 at Your Facility

Celebrate and recognize Travel Nurses Day 2015 at your facility!

Travel Nurses Day is coming up Friday, October 9, 2015!

Travel Nurses do a lot to combat the nursing shortage and are there to help with patient ratios and preventing perm staff burnout when facilities need them. Because of their special role within the realm of healthcare, Medical Solutions created Travel Nurses Day as a way to honor and celebrate these very special healthcare professionals.

If you have Travelers working at your facility, you may want to do something nice for them to help celebrate the day. Perhaps buy them lunch, give them cards, or even just say an extra “thank you” and wish them a happy Travel Nurses Day!

You can also recognize Travel Nurses Day 2015 at your facility by sending Travelers to, where they can play games, takes quizzes, and enter contests to win prizes from a pot of more than $2,000, which includes:

1 – $500 Cash Grand Prize
3 – Fitbit Charge HR ($150 value each)
3 – $100 hotel credits, courtesy of Travelers Haven

3 – $50 Tafford Gift Cards, courtesy of Tafford Uniforms
2 – $50 Amazon Gift Cards, courtesy of Nebraska Methodist College
6 – $50 Zappos Gift Cards
6 – $50 Amazon Gift Card

Your Travel Nurses are sure to be delighted and impressed that you’ve taken the time to share this information with them. We wish a Happy Travel Nurses Day to you and all of your Travelers!

Click here to visit


Decline in Uncompensated Care at Hospitals

Decline in Uncompensated Care at Hospitals

It’s always a good thing when your hospital saves money!

The Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, as it’s often known, seems to be doing some good for the bottom line of America’s hospitals.

According to an article in Forbes’ Pharma & Healthcare section, “As hospital operators begin to report second period earnings — the sixth consecutive quarter of new revenue from once uninsured patients — the number and size of unpaid medical bills continues to fall thanks to the Affordable Care Act.” 

The article goes on the share a “snapshot” of the trend using Universal Health Services as an example.

Click here to read the full Forbes article. 


Travelers Conference 2015

Travelers Conference 2015Just a few weeks left until Travelers Conference 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada September 13-15!

This annual event is aimed at traveling healthcare professionals, allowing them to meet and network with other travelers, companies, and industry experts and leaders. There’s a professional, educational, and social component to Trav Con. Many of the sessions even qualify for CEU credits, so it’s a great opportunity for Travelers to come away even stronger at their work.  

Speakers and other participants at Travelers Conference 2015 include RNs, nurse leaders and educators, staffing company reps, writers, travel industry experts, lawyers and tax experts specific to healthcare travel, and more.

If you or someone from your hospital leadership wants to learn more about healthcare travelers and staffing companies this is an excellent and affordable opportunity to do so. And also, Vegas!

Click here to learn more about the Travelers Conference.

If you do attend, make sure to stop by and say hi to Medical Solutions at our booth. We will have a very special, fun surprise that you won’t want to miss!


Nurses of Tomorrow 2015 Scholarship Winners

Nurses of Tomorrow 2015 Scholarship Winners

We believe the nurses are our future!

As a hospital leader, you know better than anyone how important it is to quality patient care for nurses and other healthcare professionals to be properly educated — especially in a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.

Well, let me introduce you to three future nurses to watch: our Nurses of Tomorrow 2015 Scholarship winners!

Shannon H., Junior
Marc G., Sophomore
Jenna M., Senior

In an effort to help develop and support the next generation of nurses, nurse leaders, and nurse educators, Medical Solutions awards our Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship as a part of our annual Nurses Week celebration.

This year, in partnership with Nebraska Methodist College, our RN to BSN Academy partner, Medical Solutions awarded three $2,000 scholarships to help support our winners as they strive to be the best of the next generation’s healthcare professionals.

Part of the consideration of winners included an essay answering the question: What does being a patient advocate mean to you? Here is an excerpt from winner Shannon’s essay:

“ … [Patient advocacy] involves recognizing and responding ethically and compassionately to those needs and concerns that are voiced, as well as those that go left unsaid. A nurse not only treats physical pains, but also helps to heal emotional wounds. He or she must strive to develop true empathy, to share in the joys and sorrows of each and every person. In doing so, patients can find hope and meaning in their suffering. An advocate does not merely speak on behalf of the patient, but forms a connection with them. This includes relaying information, so that those being cared for have a complete understanding of their physical condition and what is involved in their treatment, as well as being a friendly and familiar presence, where patients and families will feel safe sharing their concerns. A patient advocate’s role is to treat the patient as an individual with unique needs, and essentially, putting a human face on healthcare.”

—    Shannon

Click here to read more from our Nurses of Tomorrow 2015 Scholarship winners’ essays. Who knows, in a few years these people could be your star Travel Nurses! 


Best Hospitals 2015-2016

Best Hospitals 2015-2016

Which hospitals are hitting the bullseye right now?

U.S. News & World Report has announced its rankings for best hospitals 2015-2016.

“We sifted through data for nearly 5,000 hospitals and results from surveys of more than 140,000 physicians to rank the best centers in 16 adult specialties from cancer to urology. Death rates, patient safety and hospital reputation were a few of the many factors we considered. Only 137 hospitals were nationally ranked in a specialty. The Honor Roll features 15 Best Hospitals that scored near the top in at least six specialties,” the publication wrote of this year’s process.

This year’s Honor Roll was, in order from 1-15:

  • Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts  
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
  • Third place tie between John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California
  • Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts
  • New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Colombia and Cornell in New York, New York
  • UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, California
  • Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  •  Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
  •  Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois
  •  NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, New York
  •  UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  •  Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina
  •  Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital in Stanford, California  

Click here to read more about the best hospitals for 2015-2016. U.S. News & World Report also did rankings by specialty and for children’s hospitals specifically.

Specialties ranked include:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiology & Heart Surgery   
  • Diabetes & Endocrinology
  • Ear, Nose, & Throat
  • Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
  • Geriatrics
  • Gynecology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology & Neurosurgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Psychiatry
  • Pulmonology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rheumatology
  • Urology

What do you think of the rankings for the best hospitals 2015-2016? Did your facility make the list this year? Please share any comments you have! 


Great Blog for Nurse Managers

Great Blog for Nurse Managers

Learn more about a great blog for nurse managers.

On the Healthcare Staffing Blog we do our best to provide helpful information for hospital administration, nurse managers, and others in healthcare at hospitals.

Some of the topics we have covered include:

  • Healthcare quality issues
  • News and research about safe staffing levels, including information about demand for Travel Nurses
  • Movers and shakers in the healthcare industry
  • Quality concerns and how they affect patient care
  • Previews and save the dates for conferences, forums, and webinars that will help you succeed at work
  • Top hospitals and other related rankings
  • Holidays — from Nurses Week to Halloween — and how you can celebrate
  • Updates on the ever-growing nursing shortage
  • News about the Affordable Care Act and other legislation that affects your business
  • Tips for helping avoid nurse burnout
  • The increasing relevance of BSNs and how they can save your facility money
  • And all kinds of other information and entertaining tidbits relating to your important work as a healthcare professional!

A lot of the information shared on the Healthcare Staffing Blog is aggregated from various other news sources in an effort to compile all of the best, most relevant and helpful information for you.

One of the blogs that we use a resource is HC Pro’s The Leaders’ Lounge, a nursing blog from This blog is chock full of all kinds of great information that will help make your life easier and help you achieve success and your facility provide excellent patient. To check out this great blog for nurse managers, click here.   

What are some other resources you like to follow? Share your favorites in the comments.   

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