Purpose: The provision of conscientious nursing care is at the forefront of health quality. Unfortunately, a lack of standardization in the assignment of patients to nurses can lead to care inequities. Rehab MATRIX is a nursing-led tool that equitably assigns patients using select acuity variables. Design and Methods: In this initial study, we asked focus groups of 19 registered nurses and 8 patient care assistants to identify medical interventions that increase the effort of nursing care at a 24-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF). This IRF is affiliated with a comprehensive heart and vascular institute, a level I trauma center, and a The Joint Commission (TJC) Comprehensive Stroke Center. Findings: Thirteen acuity variables were included in the Rehab MATRIX patient assignment grid. High-acuity patients with greater than 6 variables were color-coded "red," medium-acuity patients with 3 to 5 variables were color-coded "yellow," and low-acuity patients with less than 3 variables were color-coded "green." Each registered nurse and patient care assistant were assigned an equitable number of red-, yellow-, and green-coded patients per shift. New admissions were Rehab MATRIX color-coded during nursing report and assigned objectively. Conclusions: Nursing staff at a wide-ranging IRF created Rehab MATRIX, an equitable patient assignment tool, representative of nursing effort needed to provide quality care. Clinical Relevance: Nursing-led patient assignment tools increase autonomy and provide the opportunity for all nursing staff to influence healthcare practice. These factors may lead to increased nursing satisfaction and decreased burnout.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Clinical Neurology