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Variability of staffing and staff mix across acute care units in Alberta, Canada

Overview of attention for article published in Human Resources for Health, December 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (53rd percentile)

Mentioned by

3 tweeters


2 Dimensions

Readers on

20 Mendeley
Variability of staffing and staff mix across acute care units in Alberta, Canada
Published in
Human Resources for Health, December 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12960-016-0172-1
Pubmed ID

Krishna Sharma, Stephanie E. Hastings, Esther Suter, Judy Bloom


The health workforce has a crucial position in healthcare, and effective distribution of the workforce is one of the critical areas for healthcare improvement. This requires a proper understanding of the allocation of healthcare providers including staffing levels and staffing variability within a healthcare system. High variability may imply significant differences in outcomes and greater opportunity to better distribute staffing and improve patient outcomes. The objective of this study was to examine staffing variation across acute care units in a large and integrated healthcare system. We used survey and administrative data on full time equivalencies of Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Health Care Aides, and allied health staff for 287 acute care units to examine staffing levels across multiple unit types. We used a subsample of 157 units in a more detailed analysis of staffing levels and staff distribution. Results from the full sample indicate that staffing levels, particularly for Registered Nurses, vary substantially across unit types. Subsample analyses showed that the highest variation in staffing levels occurred in rural units, which also had higher average staffing for licensed practical nurses and allied health staff. Rural units had fewer Health Care Aides than did other units. The majority of units were staffed with a combination of all three nursing providers, but the most common arrangement in rural units was staffing of Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses only. We also found that units with the highest number Registered Nurses also tended to have higher numbers of other staff, particularly allied health providers. We observed significant variation in staffing levels and mix in acute care units. Some of the differences might be attributable to differences in patient needs and unit types. However, we also observed high variability in units with similar services and patient populations. As other research has shown that staffing is linked to differences in patient outcomes, there is an important opportunity to improve staffing for greater efficiency and higher quality care.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 20 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 20 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 6 30%
Researcher 3 15%
Librarian 2 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 2 10%
Student > Bachelor 2 10%
Other 5 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 7 35%
Medicine and Dentistry 5 25%
Unspecified 2 10%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 10%
Psychology 1 5%
Other 3 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 06 December 2016.
All research outputs
of 8,734,076 outputs
Outputs from Human Resources for Health
of 571 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 300,503 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Human Resources for Health
of 19 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,734,076 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 52nd percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 571 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 7.6. This one is in the 11th percentile – i.e., 11% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 300,503 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 53% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 19 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 1st percentile – i.e., 1% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.