Nurse Aide Agency Staffing and Quality of Care in Nursing Homes

Published In: Medical Care Research and Review, v. 65, no. 2, Apr. 2008, p. 232-252

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Nicholas G. Castle, John Engberg, Aiju Men

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Data from a large sample of nursing homes are used to examine the association between use of nurse aide agency staff and quality. Agency use data come from a survey conducted in 2005 (N = 2,840), and the quality indicators come from the Nursing Home Compare Web site. The authors found a nonlinear relationship between nurse aide agency levels and quality; however, in general, higher nurse aide agency levels were associated with low quality. The results have policy and practice implications, the most significant of which is that use of nurse aide agency staff of less than 14 full-time equivalents per 100 beds has little influence on quality, whereas nurse aide agency staff of more than 25 full-time equivalents per 100 beds has a substantial influence on quality.

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