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The PCS is a method of grouping patients according to the amount and complexity of their
nursing care requirements.

It is a measurement tool used to articulate the nursing workload for a specific patient or group of
patients over a specific period of time.

Patient acuity is the measure of nuring workload that is generated for each patient. As a petient
becomes sicker, the acuity level rises, meaning the patient requires more nursing care. As a
patient acuity level decreases, the patient requires less nursing care.

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apid and dynamic changes in healthcare delivery have placed the issues of patient safety and
quality of care at the center of healthcare. The American Nursing Associationÿs Nursing Safety
and Quality Initiative, highlighted the strong linkage between nursing actions and patient
outcomes. Developing a fair, objective, and reliable way to predict the required number and skill
level of staff to meet patient needs and staffing assignments is a continuous challenge to
healthcare leaders. We believe that adequate staff numbers are essential to provide quality patient
care that is measured by standards of care; and determined by the number of hours of care
provided.

To serve this purpose, the Nursing Services Department at AUBMC developed a Patient
Classification System (PCS), which is customized to our patient population, in line with our
philosophy, values, and culture accounting for nursing actions that are based on standards of care

The PCS is a scheme that group patients according to the amount and complexity of their nursing
care requirements. It serves as a tool to measure patient needs, caregiver interventions, and the
skill levels required to meet those needs.

The purpose of the Patient Classification System is to:

÷Y Determine the required nursing hours needed to provide safe and efficient patient care
based on standards of care and practice.
÷Y Determine the number and category of staff (skill mix) needed for providing quality
patient care.
÷Y Monitor changes in patient demographics and care needs.
÷Y Provide data on each patient care unit that directs and supports staffing decision-making.
÷Y ünsure that quality nursing care is provided in a safe environment.
÷Y Assess the level and support services required.
÷Y ünhance staff satisfaction through a stress free work environment

The PCS is a measurement tool that specifies the required care hours per patient per shift based
on the nurse assessment. The acuity is entered in an automated application as an acuity level. The
system will calculate the direct and the indirect care needs and generate the NHPPD.

This process will determine the actual workload needed and predict the nursing load required.
Once the care needs are determined, the hours can be broken down into time requirements for
each category of nursing personnel. Thus, the PCS software determines the number of nurses
needed for a group of patients, together with the skill mix within that number.

The PCS data generated is used to:

÷Y Improve patient satisfaction by providing required time to the patient according to his/her
needs.
÷Y ünhance staff satisfaction by determining staffing needs and thus decreasing workload.
÷Y Monitor the provision of quality nursing care according to international standards in a
safe work environment
The PCS is monitored through inter-rater reliability studies . Critical thinking on the part of our
nurses, along with creativity and thorough analysis, have led to the success of our PCS. With the
collaboration of the Nursing Informatics Division and the input of stakeholders , the credibility
of the program has been maintained to a high extent.