Mandating nurse staffing ratios dating for farmers only

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Aiken, a professor at University of Pennsylvania, has shown links between California’s nurse staffing law and better patient outcomes.Among her most cited work is a 2010 paper that compared the workload of nurses in California to nurses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which don’t set nurse-to-patient ratios.“Nurses’ vigilance at the bedside is essential to their ability to ensure patient safety,” AHRQ says on its website.“It is logical, therefore, that assigning increasing numbers of patients eventually compromises nurses’ ability to provide safe care.The analysis of 845 patients found that patients were 95 percent more likely to survive when nurses followed a hospital-mandated patient-nurse ratio.

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Similar to bills proposed but rejected by state legislators over the past 15 years, these bills would impose strict patient to registered nurse ratios in the emergency department and every care and surgical unit of a hospital, ranging from 1:1 to 6:1.The BMJ safety journal 2018 longitudinal retrospective study found Lower RN staffing and higher levels of admissions per RN are associated with increased risk of death during an admission to hospital.These findings highlight the possible consequences of reduced nurse staffing and do not give support to policies that encourage the use of nursing assistants to compensate for shortages of RNs.Media headlines boast “Implementing mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios would cost Massachusetts providers an estimated 6 million to 9 million a year, net relatively minimal savings and have an insignificant impact on quality, according to a new analysis from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission.” An independent state agency that monitors hospital spending stated that it would cost billions.Perhaps these headlines are what swayed voters away from passing safer staffing mandates.

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