Most hospitals in different states in the US have implemented the policy on increasing the nurse to patient ratio. The aim of the policy is to increase the quality of care accorded to patients in different health institutions (Duffield et al., 2011). The policy has been passed in several states in the US. One state that has implemented such a policy is California. Funding of the policy is provided by the state government in conjunction with other nursing bodies in the United States, which advocate for good health. In addition, several states receive grants and loans from the national government to fund this policy. The annual costs to implement the policy on a yearly basis is between $ 700,000 to $ 800,000 (McHugh, Kelly, Sloane & Aiken, 2011). These annual costs result from the increased wages paid to nurses across the state.
Several financial and budgetary plans have been developed to ensure that the costs are contained. Financial cost measures developed by the hospital settings include standardised costs for salaries of all employees for a given period. In addition, costs have been cut by increasing the number of experienced registered nurses in taking care of patients (McHugh, et al., 2011). Experienced nurses can handle more patients compared to newly introduced nurses. Additionally, the number of working hours per registered nurse should be reduced since nurses are paid on an hourly basis. It happens if the health care setting has enough personnel. Budgetary plans include the development of budgetary plan policies that will see the actual cost of treatment compared to the actual results of the organisation (McHugh, et al., 2011). It is the key method that ensures that money provided to the health institution is used for the correct purpose. Other plans have categorically required the management of different hospitals to avoid wastage of funds through the variety of methods.
Apart from the above method of controlling costs in healthcare settings, several cost containment strategies are used. The hospitals do not exclusively depend on budgetary allocation from the state government. Some hospitals have increased the costs of medical services to cater for its needs in the society. Additionally, some costs have been catered for by non-governmental health organisations which provide substantial health grants that are used to cater for the costs that rise due to the policy introduction. Other budgetary initiatives adopted by healthcare settings include the use of medical interns in increasing the nurse ratio (McHugh, et al., 2011). It ensures that there is a decreased dependence on hiring new nurses every single time. All healthcare settings in the United States are required to provide adequate treatment about the policy by following all the laid down procedures. Financial incentives have also been provided for hospitals that performed better in the past. The national government has also stepped in to cater for some costs relating to health care.
Financing of the above policy directly translates to better outcomes in health care settings. Therefore, increasing the nurse to patient ratio means that patients are provided with quality care (Duffield, et al., 2011). However, for this plan to be effective nurses are supposed to be paid for the extra hours. Consequently, more nurses should be hired to attain the required patient to nurse ratio. It is evident that the implementation of any policy requires adequate financing. Since enough resource are being used to implement the above policy, it is more likely that better health outcomes will be achieved. The nurses start effectively perform their duties when they are satisfied with the payment. Higher satisfaction levels of employees translates to the increased output. In this case, output refers to delivery of better services which ensures better health outcomes.
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