Governor Paterson Signs The Nursing Care Quality Protection Act
Posted Sep 30 2009 6:06pm
Due largely to the efforts of the New York State Nurses Association, My Elder Advocate and other advocacy organizations, on September 17th, 2009 Governor Paterson signed the Nursing Care Quality Protection Act, which requires healthcare facilities to disclose information about nurse staffing to state regulators and the public. The measure has been a top priority for the New York State Nurses Association.
As the amount of care from registered nurses has a significant impact on patients' health and safety, consistent documentation is needed to determine staffing patterns in hospitals. Numerous studies have shown that higher nurse staffing is associated with lower rates of infection, cardiac arrest, and other complications.
The bill passed the State Assembly by a unanimous vote earlier this year.
The legislation requires each hospital to report the numbers of RNs and LPNs providing direct care and the ratio of patients to nurses; the number of unlicensed personnel providing direct care; the incidence of adverse patient events such as medication errors and injuries; and the method the hospital uses for determining and adjusting staffing levels.