For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Silk, 518-782-9400, ext. 224
Latham, June 8, 2009 - As legislative session comes to a close, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) is urging the state Senate to pass the Nursing Care Quality Protection Act (S3527) requiring hospitals to disclose nurse staffing levels and quality indicators. The bill has already passed in the Assembly, and is currently on the agenda in the Senate.
According to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, nurse understaffing is a factor in 25% of unanticipated patient injuries or deaths in hospitals. Currently, the public does not have access to information regarding nurse staffing levels when deciding where to get care. The Nursing Care Quality Protection Act would require hospitals to report levels of patient care staff for each unit, as well as any indicators of poor quality nursing care, such as incidence of pressure ulcers and infections.
Unlike the Healthcare Association of New York, which contends that it would be “difficult for the public to interpret the meaning of staffing levels that are publicly reported,” NYSNA believes New Yorkers are capable of making educated decisions about their health care and must be given the necessary information to do so.
NYSNA is committed to keeping this bill in the forefront with state legislators and will fight to make the Nursing Care Quality Protection Act a reality for all New Yorkers.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.