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May 2012, Volume 42 Number 5 , p 23 - 25



In the real world, are mandatory overtime regulations actually reducing nurses' overtime hours, as intended? Focusing on 1,706 newly licensed RNs (NLRNs), researchers analyzed data from 34 states, 16 of which had laws limiting mandatory overtime. They found that in states with laws restricting mandatory overtime or total hours worked per week, "such regulation was associated with fewer total hours worked per week compared with states without regulations." They "did not find any significant relationship between mandatory overtime regulations and voluntary overtime."Researchers call for more investi-gation into how well institutions comply with regulations and the effect of regulations on nurse and patient safety.Source: Bae SH, Brewer CS, Kovner CT. State mandatory overtime regulations and newly licensed nurses' mandatory and voluntary overtime and total work hours. Nurs Outlook. 2012;60(2):60-71.Interventions that encourage nurses and physicians to agree on shared patient care goals can improve communication during multidisciplinary daily rounds, according to research conducted over a 9-month period in a pediatric ICU. Physicians, residents, and nurses attended daily rounds on 736 pediatric ICU patients. During the study period, researchers introduced three interventions 8 to 12 weeks apart: * implementation of a new resident daily progress note format * creation of a performance improvement "dashboard"-a visual summary of critical data measures to aid clinical decision making * documentation of patients' daily goals on bedside whiteboards.After all three interventions had been implemented, care team agreement with daily patient care goals increased from 57% to 83%. The interventions helped to reduce communication barriers, such as bedside multitasking during rounds and interruptions during patient presentations. The interventions also encouraged the use of strategies that improve communication, such as reviewing the prior day's goals, getting input from direct care

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