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Established in 1989 as one of the first centers to scale up rigorous research on the impact of nursing on patient outcomes, the Center uses evidence to inform policy and produces the next generation of scientists.

New Director for Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research

Matthew McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, FAAN, the Independence Chair for Nursing Education and Professor of Nursing, has been appointed the Director for the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR). McHugh’s work has advanced the field of nursing outcomes and policy research by showing the value of investing in nursing to achieve a higher functioning health care system.

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“Dr. McHugh’s body of work has advanced the field of nursing outcomes and policy research by showing the value of investing in nursing to achieve a higher functioning health care system. I know that Matt will bring a focused energy to this new role and will continue to advance research and training that will inform health care policies and practices now, and in the years, to come,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel. “We are grateful to Dr. Aiken, Founding Director of CHOPR, who has built a solid foundation in health outcomes research, locally and globally. I am confident that the impact of CHOPR and Penn Nursing faculty and students, under Matt’s leadership, will continue to thrive.”

Improving Hospital Nurse Staffing Is Associated with Fewer Deaths from Sepsis

Karen Lasater, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Res...Karen Lasater, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research is first author of two newer papers receiving wide media attention due to its timely findings.

According to a new study published in American Journal of Infection Control, improving nurse staffing as proposed in pending legislation in New York state would likely save lives of sepsis patients and save money by reducing the length of hospital stays. Researchers at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, conducting independent research on whether pending nurse staffing legislation in New York state is in the public’s interest, found that the wide variation in patient-to-nurse ratios across hospitals in New York is contributing to avoidable deaths for patients with sepsis, a common, high mortality condition. More

Wide Variation Across Hospitals in Nurse Staffing Is Threat to Public’s Health

According to the CHOPR study published in BMJ Quality & Safety, many hospitals in New York and Illinois were understaffed before the first surge of critically ill Covid-19 patients.

The paper titled, “Chronic Hospital Nurse Understaffing Meets Covid-19,” documented staffing ratios that varied from 3 to 10 patients for each nurse on general adult medical and surgical units. ICU nurse staffing was better but also varied significantly across hospitals. MORE

“It is an immense credit to nurses that in such an exhausted and depleted state before the pandemic they were able to reach deep within themselves to stay at the hospital bedside very long hours and save lives during the emergency.”

Closing the Racial Disparity Gap in Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

In-hospital cardiac arrests (IHCA) represent catastrophic and often terminal events. Despite investments to improve the quality of resuscitation efforts, fewer than 25 percent of all patients that experience cardiac arrests in hospitals survive to discharge, and survival varies significantly across hospitals and by race. Until now, few have been able to specify reasons for the between-hospital differences. More

Dr. J. Margo Brooks Carthon“The effect of being cared for in hospitals with better medical-surgical staffing has a greater effect on black patients than white patients, and differences in survival to discharge after an IHCA between black and white patients are more pronounced in poorly staffed hospitals than in well-staffed hospitals,” says J. Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor of Nursing at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research and lead author of the study.