Reduce surgical errors….or reduce nursing staff?

A recent article that appears in the peer reviewed journal “Health Affairs” found that recent regulation changes that financially penalizes health care facilities for complications following surgeries will have a negative revenue consequence for the majority of hospitals.
The paper postulates that this negative income will likely result in decreased hospital days for patients and increased attention to reduce surgical complications. My concern is what I have seen over many years of being a front line health care provider and that is the reaction of Chief Financial Offers to look at the bottom line and reduce full time employees. These reductions will likely come from nursing staff in the operating theatre and replace them will less trained and skilled technicians.
I applaud the regulation and it’s intent, but am concerned about it’s implementation. The faster, and easier solution, for health care facilities is not to reduce reduction but to reduce cost to compensate for the revenue loss. The regulations should have included provisions to ensure the safety of the patients in the operating theatre