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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2022 10:25 AM
From: Senator Maria Collett
To: All Senate members
Subject: The Patient Safety Act
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation which would establish safe patient limits under the care of an individual nurse in Pennsylvania hospitals, to be known as the Patient Safety Act. There is compelling evidence that by establishing safe patient protocols, patient safety is improved dramatically and the costs to hospitals are reduced as malpractice claims fall and avoidable, uncompensated care is eliminated.  
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, we have all been reminded how vital nurses are to keeping our communities safe and healthy. Unfortunately, we know that when staffing levels are low, nursing care suffers.  And when nursing care suffers, patients are at risk.  That is why Pennsylvanians need the Patient Safety Act now more than ever before.

The bill will set appropriate ratios depending on the nature of the unit; for instance, a neo-natal intensive care unit has a much lower ratio of 2 patients to 1 nurse, than a pre-surgical unit set at 4 patients to 1 nurse.

This legislation is an important part of keeping hospital patients safe and ensuring they receive the best care possible.  In addition, the Patient Safety Act represents an excellent way for hospitals to make an investment in patient care that will pay dividends in overall savings. A number of other states have already instituted safe patient limits.
This legislation was introduced as SB 240 in the previous session with Senators Browne, Scavello, Tomlinson, Costa, Hughes, Brewster, Fontana, Street, Kane, Santarsiero, Comitta, Kearney, Schwank, Tartaglione, Muth, Saval, Cappelletti, Haywood, A. Williams, Flynn, Sabatina, L. Williams and Dillon signing on as sponsors.

To put it simply, safe patient limits saves lives. I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this vital, patient-centered legislation.

Introduced as SB247