Addressing systemic inequities linked to readmission for minority stroke patients

Racial minorities are disproportionately affected by stroke, with Black patients experiencing worse post-stroke outcomes than white patients. Racial disparities in stroke outcomes have been linked to suboptimal control of risk factors such as hypertension, lack of access to health care, and decreased utilization of neurologic services. However, it was previously unknown if outcomes for Black ischemic stroke patients were affected by care settings with insufficient nursing resources.

African American person laying in a hospital bed with a blood pressure monitor, a medical professional in a white coat stands beside the bed.

New research from the School of Nursing’s Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR) indicates disparities in readmissions between Black and white stroke patients may be linked to the level of nurse staffing in the hospitals where they receive care. It is the first study of its kind that demonstrates an association between nurse staffing and 7- and 30-day readmission disparities for Black ischemic stroke patients. A paper detailing the research, “Racial Disparities in Stroke Readmissions Reduced in Hospitals with Better Nurse Staffing,” is published in the journal Nursing Research.

“Tailoring nurse staffing levels to meet the needs of Black ischemic stroke patients represents a promising intervention to address systemic inequities linked to readmission disparities among minority stroke patients, says J. Margo Brooks Carthon, Tyson Family Endowed Term Chair for Gerontological Research and associate professor of nursing.

Read more at Penn Nursing News.