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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 8, 2016 12:12 PM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Reporting of Daily Nursing Ratios
In the near future, I intend to re-introduce legislation that would require hospitals to compile and maintain daily reports in each patient care unit, including:
  • Staffing levels for Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Certified Nursing Assistants (CAN), and other unlicensed personnel responsible for direct patient care;
  • The ratio of patients to RNs, LPNs, CNAs and unlicensed direct care personnel;
  • RN, LPN and CAN turnover rates.
My bill would require that unit staffing reports be posted publically in patient care areas. The Department of Health would also compile and publish quarterly reports on staffing levels for each Pennsylvania hospital. This would provide potential patients with accurate information on where to seek care as well as prospective employees. In addition, whistle blower protections would be put in place to offer security for the hospital workforce who speak up about staffing quality of care issues in their facility.

I feel that this is a critical issue that needs addressed because numerous academic studies have shown that chronic short staffing is a major contribution to preventable hospital born infections, accidents, and patient deaths, all which drive up healthcare costs and diminish the quality of patient care. Furthermore, these transparency guidelines were recommended by the non-partisan Joint State Government Commission in 2014.

This bill was introduced as SB 1081 last session with cosponsors including Senators Blake, Costa, Leach, Sabatina, Haywood and Williams.

Introduced as SB336