Association between Nursing Home Staff Turnover and Infection Control Citations
41 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2021 Last revised: 7 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 5, 2021
Objective: To describe the association between nursing home staff turnover and the presence and scope of infection control citations.
Data Sources: Secondary data for all U.S. nursing homes between March 31, 2017 through December 31, 2019 from Payroll Based Journal, Nursing Home Compare, and Long-Term Care Facts in the U.S.
Study Design: We estimated the association between nurse turnover and the probability of an infection control citation and the scope of the citation, while controlling for nursing home characteristics and state fixed effects. Our turnover measure is the percent of the facility’s nursing staff hours that were provided by new staff (less than 60 days of experience in last 180 days) during the two weeks prior to the health inspection. We calculated turnover for all staff together and separately for registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).
Data collection/Extraction methods: We linked nursing homes standard inspection surveys to 650 million shifts from the Payroll Based Journal data. We excluded any nursing home with incomplete or missing staffing data. Our final analytic sample included 14,237 nursing homes with 33,726 surveys.
Principal Findings: Staff turnover was associated with an increased likelihood of an infection control citation (average marginal effect [AME]=0.13 percentage points (pp); 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.10,0.16). RN (AME=0.02 pp; 95%CI: 0.00,0.05), LPN (AME=0.06 pp; 95%CI: 0.02,0.09) and CNA (AME=0.05 pp; 95%CI: 0.01,0.09) turnover were also all conditionally associated with an infection control citation. Staff turnover was positively associated with the infraction scope being coded as a “pattern” (AME=0.05 pp; 95%CI: 0.03,0.07) or “widespread” (AME=0.05 pp; 95%CI: 0.03,0.07).
Conclusions: RN, LPN, and CNA turnover are all positively associated with the probability of an infection control citation. Staff turnover should be considered an important factor related to the spread of infections within nursing homes.
Keywords: Nursing Home, Infection Control, Health Workforce, Long-term Care, Employee Turnover, COVID-19
JEL Classification: I1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation