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PICOT Statement: Problems and Questions

Clinical Area and Problems

It is worth noting that, at present, the issue of medical personnel shortage is acute for the majority of medical organizations across the country. The availability of the health care workforce is well below the planned indicator despite the fact that institutions are actively working in several directions in order to attract new employees and use the existing workforce more rationally. In addition, retention of the existing nursing personnel is another critical problem since high turnover is the direct consequence of employee fatigue and burnout.

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Palmetto Hospital Miami in Florida is one of the institutions that experience the problem of nurse understaffing. In general, it is a large hospital, which provides medical services and cares for individuals experiencing a wide range of conditions and health-related problems. In Palmetto Hospital Miami, the problem pertaining to nursing understaffing can be vividly observed in the majority of departments.

This issue leads to work and responsibility overload since nurses have to serve a large number of patients. In its turn, the overload results in client dissatisfaction due to the fact that patients do not receive care in the volume they need and the possibility of medical errors is rather high. In addition, apart from poor patient outcomes and client satisfaction, understaffing, and the problems that emerge from it cause employee burnout and increased turnover (Cho et al., 2016). These negative manifestations aggravate the setting further. Therefore, the projected research will aim to analyze and combat the existing problem of paramount importance.


Following evidence-based guidelines, the proposed intervention will be aimed at increasing the existing nurse staffing levels in Palmetto Hospital Miami. To be more precise, it is assumed that an increased nurse-patient ratio will positively affect the setting and lead to improved patient care and outcomes (Cho et al., 2016). In addition, it will influence the nursing practice as well since health care specialists will be able to dedicate care and attention to each patient in the volume necessary for their rapid and successful discharge.

PICOT Question

Based on the points discussed above, the PICOT question can be determined as follows:

What is the effect on nursing/patient outcomes when the nurse-patient ratio is increased in Palmetto Hospital Miami within the timeframe of three months?

P – all nurses of Palmetto Hospital Miami;

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I – increased nurse-patient ratio per unit;

C – compared to the current practice;

O – the existing staff will be retained, the medical errors will be prevented, patient satisfaction will be increased;

T – within three months.

Patient Outcomes

Due to the fact that the need for adequate staffing is constantly increasing, the timely resolution of the existing nursing problem will allow achieving quality patient outcomes in the future. For instance, due to adequate nurse-patient ratio, specialists will be able to pay more attention to each client and will prevent the development of both noninfectious and infectious diseases. Patients will be able to receive the necessary services quickly and in the required amount, and the organization will be able to organize disease prevention better (Houser, 2016). Moreover, the incidents of falls will be prevented as well as the mistakes made during the handover process. Thus, by employing the proposed intervention, Palmetto Hospital Miami will be able to resolve the problem of employee understaffing and achieve better patient outcomes.


Cho, E., Lee, N. J., Kim, E. Y., Kim, S., Lee, K., Park, K. O., & Sung, Y. H. (2016). Nurse staffing level and overtime associated with patient safety, quality of care, and care left undone in hospitals: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 60, 263-271.

Houser, J. (2016). Nursing research. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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