It’s not easy to define basic nursing care in terms relevant to academia, research, and practice. Yet ensuring the delivery of basic care has never been more important. As Pipe and colleagues wrote in 2012, “As the work of nursing becomes increasingly more complex and significantly more technical…, nurses are beginning to find that the basic nursing interventions that were once the hallmark of good nursing care are being left behind.”
Articulating when basic care is not done, termed “missed” care, has advanced work in this area. In the last 6 years, studies have shown that significant amounts of care are missed in acute care hospitals. Missed care is important not just from a patient safety and quality of care perspective, but also from a business perspective. Hospital reimbursements are reduced or eliminated for acute care services when any one of a common set of complications occurs.
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