Hundreds of nurses and other caregivers from communities across the state were joined by supporters and elected officials Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda where they called for legislation aimed at improving staffing levels, delivery of care and transparency in hospital nurse staffing reporting, according to the Nursing Alliance of Pennsylvania.
The alliance said in a news release that health care professionals are calling for the passage of Senate Bill 1081, the Hospital Nursing Staff Report Card. The bill would create a public reporting system for nurse staffing in hospitals and other acute care facilities.
The bill aims to improve patient safety and give patients and their families information when it comes to potentially life-saving medical care.
“Studies have shown time and time again that nurse staffing levels in our hospitals are directly linked to patient outcomes,” said Registered Nurse Deborah Bonn, director of the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Pennsylvania. “It’s a serious public health issue, but Pennsylvania hospitals are currently under no federal or state requirement to reveal those staffing levels to officials or the public. It’s time our patients and their families have the information they need to make smart choices about their medical care.”
The day of action Tuesday was coordinated by a coalition of nursing and health care organizations led by the Nursing Alliance, part of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state’s largest health care union.
Nurses were joined by state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, the main sponsor of the bill, as well as state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Perry/Dauphin counties, and Sen. John Yudichak.