Hospital Restructuring: Implications for Patient Outcomes and Workforce Policy

Award Year:
Linda Aiken
AIDS/HIV, Healthcare Organization
Market-driven restructuring of the U.S. hospital sector is raising doubts about quality of care, affecting worker morale, and weakening the public's trust. Dr. Aiken seeks to understand the mechanisms by which hospital organizational structure and processes affect patient outcomes. Her project focuses on how aspects of human resource allocation and hospital organization might be modified or shaped to yield better outcomes given financial constraints. As part of her study, Dr. Aiken will: 1) test new methods and instruments for measuring organizational traits across hospitals; 2) engage leaders in a discussion of her findings and their implications for redesigning acute inpatient clinical care; 3) assess the impact of hospital sector changes on current and future nursing workforce requirements; and 3) consider the effects of changing hospital workforce requirements on nursing education. Findings should inform the debate about current and future nurse workforce requirements and efforts to improve the quality of hospital care.