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I just read the article "The Current Status of Home Care Nursing Practice: Part 2" in the November 2002 issue of HHN. Of particular interest was the section on productivity. The nurses at our office have argued for several years that these numbers (visits/day) do not reflect the actual amount of time that is spent with patients and that the numbers were worthless for staffing purposes.
In fall 2002 I attended a Care-To-Share meeting in which the topic of productivity was mentioned. As we went around the table, each representative worked into the conversation a mention of his or her agency's productivity. Ours was around 4.5 to 5 visits a day and we were wondering how we compared. Another agency representative mentioned that theirs was 6. I was so impressed, and asked how the nurses managed this in an 8-hour day. The response was that the nurses put in an extra 1.5 to 2 hours each day. And people wonder why nurses leave nursing!
My point is that it's impossible to compare agencies on this issue due to differing scheduling, patient needs, and staffing. Maybe some aspiring graduate student can devise a staffing formula that meets both scheduling and fiscal demands.
L C, RN, MSN
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