, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 113-122
Date: 18 Sep 2010

Inpatient satisfaction and job satisfaction/stress of medical workers in a hospital with the 7:1 nursing care system (in which 1 nurse cares for 7 patients at a time)

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Abstract

Objectives

Inpatient satisfaction, job satisfaction/stress of medical workers, and hospital profitability under the 7:1 nursing care system (in which 1 nurse cares for 7 patients at a time) were compared with those under the 10:1 system at a hospital with the diagnosis procedure combination (DPC) payment system.

Methods

A total of 202 inpatients discharged from the Departments of Cardiology and Metabolism completed an inpatient satisfaction questionnaire. A total of 108 medical workers were recruited to survey their job satisfaction/stress and to estimate the effects of the DPC. The profits for 10 cardiac and metabolic diseases in 2008 were compared with those in 2007.

Results

Mean inpatient satisfaction scores were around 4 (“somewhat satisfied”) under both the 10:1 and 7:1 systems, and increased significantly to 4.14–4.38 under the 7:1 system. Excluding workload of physicians, the other stresses of physicians/nurses remained unaltered, as did their low job satisfaction. They estimated their understanding of the DPC as insufficient but felt that introducing the DPC neither shortened length of stay nor improved “the quality of medical/nursing care,” regardless of the system. Total percentage profit increased to 1.17% in 2008 from 0.73% in 2007, whereas 7 of 10 diseases showed deficits in 2008.

Conclusions

The 7:1 system was somewhat beneficial for inpatients but not always for medical worker quality of life (QOL) or for hospital income, which are important to maintain high quality of medical/nursing care. It is important to further explore factors increasing QOL of medical workers and hospital income.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12199-011-0226-x