The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Jan Phillips-Clar1, Gina Giles-Oas1, Donna Murphy2, Richard M. Ford1; 1Respiratory Care, University of California San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA; 2Respiratory Care, Sharp Grossmont, San Diego, CA

Background: Reductions in the RCP workforce beyond critical levels can result in missed therapy, misallocation of therapy, inability to respond, complications and errors that can result in negative outcomes. This concern provided reason to better assess if managers perceived they were short staffed and if so, did it make a difference if their staffing system was based on counts related to the number of patients or the number of procedures. Methods: We utilized a survey designed by the North Carolina Respiratory Care Board, who initiated a similar inquiry in 2011. The survey was distributed through the contact list maintained by the California Society of Respiratory Care. California managers were surveyed to report their perception of being short staffed, inclusive of what metric they apply to adjust staffing levels. Reported metrics were then grouped as being patient driven or procedure driven. Analysis was performed to better determine the relationship between understaffing and the use of either patient driven or procedural driven metrics. Results: Of approximately 440 hospitals in California, 130 centers responded. It was the general perception of 30% of respondents that they did not have adequate staff over the course of the past year, with 21.5% reporting the conditions as chronic and ongoing. Of the 21.5% reporting being chronically short staffed, 53% use workload assessment counts considered procedure driven. Of the 88.5% that did not perceive conditions of being chronically understaffed, 83% use procedure driven metrics. Conclusions: Data reflects that procedure driven metrics are applied in the majority of staffing models. It is apparent however, that those reporting they are chronically understaffed; there is a greater usage of patient driven metrics. Patient driven metrics do not account for a specific determination of the types of respiratory interventions required, and thus may not be the best indicator to determine how much practitioner time is required. We suggest use of procedure driven metrics as recommended in the AARC Uniform Reporting Manual. Sponsored Research - None