Ridiculous Study of the Month: Nurses are Important


File this in the no sh%t column: surgery patients do better when nurses have better working environments.  And this had to be studied?  Why don’t we study why they are cutting nursing positions and replacing them with useless administrators?  This study in JAMA Surgery found that “hospitals with well-staffed, top-notch nursing departments had fewer deaths after surgery than hospitals without those high-quality nursing departments”.  Also, hospitals with the better nursing departments also had fewer patients die after a surgical complication. This is not even about the nurses being good or not. It is about numbers or more than one nurse for every hospital bed.  So, what is the fix?  Readjust the budget.  Pay the good nurses to stay.  Fix the working environment.  And for god sakes, stop gaming the system by trying to replace them with more machines and lesser qualified personnel.  This problem is all budgetary and the money is going to the wrong people, that being administrators.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “Ridiculous Study of the Month: Nurses are Important

  1. tad hominem
    February 1, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    they will only change when forced to. what will force them ?? money !! but until PC docs and their patients start looking at numbers before going to a hospital or choosing a specialist who uses those hospitals, numbers won’t be affected. so it is up to the despised and maligned malpractice lawyers to affect the balance sheet until the insurer makes them change.

    • Steve O'
      February 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Hmm…people will only change by the application of force against individuals who are failing to perform up to standard. Punishment and fear from the individual, in a dysfunctional system that causes corruption and inefficiency. But the system cannot be blamed, so the individual must be punished. We need a special class of punishers to oversee the slackers who are wrecking the industry.
      The song remains the same. Every government which seizes power and then discovers that their ideals don’t work, they can’t run a country – they have the option of stepping down and admitting arrogance. Don’t see that much. Rather, they all turn to blaming the anti-revolutionaries, the wreckers who are opposing paradise-on-earth. They come up with a secret police to ferret out the wreckers, hold public trials for their cruel passion for wrecking things. Often they even elicit confessions! Power is consolidated, to keep it out of the hands of the anti-revolutionaries. Is it so long, have you forgotten the 20th century? Dying for bad ideas is so…so last millennium, Tad. From the Inquisition to North Korea, we tried it, but it didn’t work.

  2. Perry
    February 1, 2016 at 9:57 am

    What’s even sadder than spending money on this ridiculous study, is that nothing will change in those hospitals that are so short-staffed.

  3. Steve O'
    February 1, 2016 at 9:38 am

    In the words of Garth Algar, “Way!”

  4. Dr Thomas D Guastavino
    February 1, 2016 at 6:58 am

    You should start a “Special Olympics for the Stupidest Medical Study”. Create a list of candidates, describe them, then allow readers to vote. You could then reward a gold, silver and bronze medal. Send the results to the people who pay for these studies. Let them know what they got for the money they spent.

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