Today the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions published a new report which calls for nurses, patients and their families to safeguard our health care system and to reject irresponsible workforce redesign. Valuing Patient Safety: Responsible Workforce Design provides stark evidence of the effects of ill-considered experiments in the delivery of patient care. Workforce redesign refers to nursing care delivery, and changes to staff mix and staffing levels are the two most common, outward signs.
Valuing Patient Safety argues that patients must be at the forefront of any redesign decisions. This means patient priority care needs must be properly assessed using real time tools, based on factors such as acuity, stability and complexity. Once patient needs are determined, nurses and their managers should base staffing assignments on the best fit between patient needs and nurse competencies.