A comparison of patient care units with high versus low levels of missed nursing care

Health Care Manage Rev. 2012 Oct-Dec;37(4):320-8. doi: 10.1097/HMR.0b013e318249727e.


Background: In a previous study, the nursing staff on 110 patient care units in 10 hospitals participated in a quantitative study of missed nursing care.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the differences in patient care units that had the most missed nursing care with those with the least missed nursing care.

Methodology: Focus groups were conducted with the registered nurse staff on the 5 units with the most missed nursing care and 5 units with the least missed care.

Findings: Ten themes were identified: (a) staffing levels, (b) communication, (c) collective orientation, (d) backup, (e) monitoring, (f) leadership, (g) long tenure, (h) unit size, (i) trust, and (j) accountability. Taken together, the predominant difference found was that units with the least missed care had higher teamwork.

Practice implications: Strategies for developing interventions to decrease missed care and increase teamwork are presented.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Focus Groups
  • Hospital Units*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Care / standards*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Care*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care