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Symptoms of the Nursing Shortage Affect Patients and Their Families; Quality of Care Praised, Timely Delivery Questioned By Consumers.

NEW YORK -- Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of American patients that have received medical care in a hospital during the last year and a third (32 percent) of accompanying family members report that nurses were not available in a timely manner during their stay, according to a Hudson Healthcare survey released today. Given a choice, 39 percent of patients and 41 percent of family members said that adding more nursing staff would have the most positive impact on the quality of care delivered, outpacing the responses for three other options - adding more doctors, upgrading facilities or accommodations, or improving admissions procedures.

"As healthcare providers design strategies to alleviate the staffing crisis, the Hudson survey illustrates the front-end impact that nurse staffing has on consumers' perception of care," commented Steven Wolfe, executive vice president of Hudson Healthcare. "As patients are forced to wait longer to receive attention, pressure will increasingly build on hospitals and other providers to resolve inadequate staff levels. The providers that deploy creative solutions, such as importing foreign nurses, will rate high among their patients for care delivery."

The healthcare industry has anticipated an increasingly acute shortage of nursing candidates for a number of years now. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that there is a 7 percent shortage of registered nurses for current open positions, a figure that could rise to 29 percent by 2020 (representing a shortage of more than 400,000 RNs).

Still, Hudson survey respondents praised the quality of care received by nurses despite the shortage. When accessible, the quality of care provided was rated very high, with 79 percent of patients and 73 percent of family members reporting good or excellent care. When asked about other options for improving care, only 15 percent and 18 percent of patients and family members respectively asserted that adding more doctors would have the greatest positive impact on healthcare. Similar percentages reported that better admissions processes would have the most positive effect on care.

The Hudson Healthcare Survey is based on a national poll of 1,354 patients and 1,539 family members, and was compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm (RasmussenReports.com).

Hudson, one of the world's leading professional staffing, outsourcing and human capital solution providers, also publishes the Hudson Employment Index(SM), a monthly measure of the U.S. workforce's confidence in the employment market. Next month's Hudson Employment Index(SM) will be released on September 29, 2004.

Hudson

Hudson delivers specialized professional staffing, outsourcing and human capital solutions worldwide. From single placements to total solutions, the firm assesses, recruits and develops talent to meet the specific business needs of each client. Global practice areas include Accounting & Finance; Engineering, Operations & Scientific; Healthcare; Human Resources; IT & Telecommunications; Legal; and Sales & Marketing.

Hudson is a division of Hudson Highland Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HHGP) one of the world's leading professional staffing, retained executive search and human capital solution providers. More information is available at Hudson.com.

Special Note: Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Except for historical information contained herein, the statements made in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding the company's strategic direction, prospects and future results. Certain factors, including factors outside of our control, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward- looking statements, including economic and other conditions in the markets in which we operate, risks associated with acquisitions, competition, seasonality and the other risks discussed in our Form 10-K and our other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which discussions are incorporated in this release by reference.
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 16, 2004
Words:635
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