Nurses’ Presenteeism and Its Effects on Self-Reported Quality of Care and Costs

Published in the American Journal of Nursing, the following study sought to investigate the extent to which musculoskeletal pain or depression (or both) in RNs affects their work productivity and self-reported quality of care and considered the associated costs. The majority of respondents (62%) reported a presenteeism score of at least 1 on a 0-to-10 scale, indicating that health problems had affected work productivity at least “a little.” Pain and depression were significantly associated with presenteeism. Presenteeism was significantly associated with a higher number of patient falls, a higher number of medication errors, and lower quality-of-care scores. Baseline cost estimates indicate that the increased falls and medication errors caused by presenteeism are expected to cost $1,346 per North Carolina RN and just under $2 billion for the United States annually.

Health Care Costs, Safety and Patient Outcomes

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