Relationship of nursing home staffing to quality of care

Health Serv Res. 2004 Apr;39(2):225-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2004.00225.x.


Objective: To compare nursing homes (NHs) that report different staffing statistics on quality of care.

Data sources: Staffing information generated by California NHs on state cost reports and during onsite interviews. Data independently collected by research staff describing quality of care related to 27 care processes.

Study design: Two groups of NHs (n=21) that reported significantly different and stable staffing data from all data sources were compared on quality of care measures.

Data collection: Direct observation, resident and staff interview, and chart abstraction methods.

Principal findings: Staff in the highest staffed homes (n=6), according to state cost reports, reported significantly lower resident care loads during onsite interviews across day and evening shifts (7.6 residents per nurse aide [NA]) compared to the remaining homes that reported between 9 to 10 residents per NA (n=15). The highest-staffed homes performed significantly better on 13 of 16 care processes implemented by NAs compared to lower-staffed homes.

Conclusion: The highest-staffed NHs reported significantly lower resident care loads on all staffing reports and provided better care than all other homes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes / economics
  • Nursing Homes / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Homes / standards
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling*
  • Quality of Health Care*