Narrator: This is Science Today. The University of California, San Francisco will lead a nationwide study on the role of nurses in patient care and safety. Mary Blegen, director of the Center for Patient Safety at the university's School of Nursing, says they are one of nine projects funded to take part in a two-year study measuring nursing quality in hospitals. Previous research has indicated that the more nurses are around, the lower the mortality rate in hospitals.
Blegen: One of the unique things about nurses is that they are there, twenty-four hours a day at the patient's bedside and if there are sufficient numbers of nurses and they are astute, then they are monitoring that patient to see any moment-to-moment change and then preventing a complication or incident from getting much worse.
Narrator: Blegen says a number of research studies had a lot of inconsistencies due to different measures and ways of analyzing data.
Blegen: So the advantage of our project is we will have much better data available to us than have been available in the past.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.