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This is a discussion on Is safe staffing nothing but a pipe dream??? in Nursing Activism / Healthcare Politics, part of General Nursing ... With nursing the way it is right now in this economy, Will safe staffing bills be anything more...by Esme12 Asst. Admin Mar 14, '12With nursing the way it is right now in this economy, Will safe staffing bills be anything more than a dream???
I read this article and it made me wonder. Did the safe staffing legislation in California work? Are the patients safer? Do the nurses have less patients? Or will it become like the violence against nurses law.....there on the books but not really enforced.
"In 2011, no fewer than 15 states introduced nurse staffing bills into their legislatures. And according to the American Nurses Association (ANA), 11 states introduced staffing legislation in the first 2 months of 2012 alone.Meanwhile, not one but two federal bills that would hold the nation's hospitals accountable for providing safe, appropriate nurse staffing levels were introduced in the U.S. Congress for the 2011-12 session:The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act (S. 58/H.R. 876) would require Medicare-participating facilities to create unit-by-unit staffing plans establishing adjustable minimum numbers of LMs for each unit, based on such factors as patient numbers and patient acuity. These plans would be developed by staffing committees that must be comprised of at least 55 percent direct care nurses.
The National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act (S. 992/H.R. 2187) would amend the Public Health Service Act to require hospitals to implement a staffing plan that includes minimum RN-to-patient ratios as well as minimum LPN staffing levels. The bill also allows for adjustments above the minimum ratios "under appropriate circumstances."
Although demand for legally mandated staffing requirements that will ensure a safe hospital environment for both patients and nurses appears to be rising rapidly, this issue isn't new.
Since the passage in 1999 of California's historic ratio-based staffing legislation, 15 states plus Washington, DC, now have some form of staffing laws or regulations on their books.
But why is there still no national safe staffing law despite the publication of study after study showing a direct correlation between insufficient nurse staffing and adverse patient outcomes, including death?" end quote
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What do you think?Last edit by Esme12 on Mar 14, '12
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- Mar 17, '12 by Havin' A Party!Some say it's like a mirage in the desert.
- Mar 17, '12 by DoGoodThenGo'But why is there still no national safe staffing law despite the publication of study after study showing a direct correlation between insufficient nurse staffing and adverse patient outcomes, including death?"
Am no expert but can give an educated guess it comes down to what it always does; money.
Federal government could have created mandatory staffing ratios anytime it wished, but the hospitals and so forth already chaffing under what they consider under reimbursement rates for care would say "fine, then show us the money". In other words increase bed board or whatever rates to make facilities whole or close to it otherwise it is just going to cause endless trouble.
For all the fighting against a national heathcare system in the United States we already have one. Via Medicare and to a extent Medicaid the US federal government exerts huge control over the nation's healthcare system including hospitals. Being as that may those in goverment are keenly aware just how far they can push things. There already is a shortage in many parts of this country of doctors willing to take on Medicare patients, and more are considering leaving the system in the coming years. The first hospital/facility that can find a way to financial healthy operations without Medicare/Medicaid patients and thus opt out of the system could start a run for the doors, at least amoung better heeled hospitals.
So much of healthcare in the United States is balkanised by wealth in this country and that trend seems to be growing.