HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today approved legislation authored by Rep. Thomas Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) to establish safe patient limits under the care of individual nurses in Pennsylvania hospitals. House Bill 106
would be known as the Patient Safety Act.
“Nurses across the state are being assigned an increasing number of patients as staffing levels continue to decline, resulting in nearly 300 surgical patient deaths per year in Pennsylvania,” said Mehaffie. “My Patient Safety Act legislation would set appropriate ratios for Pennsylvania hospitals dependent upon the severity of the unit’s patient needs.”
The Patient Safety Act seeks to enhance patient monitoring, ensure health care professionals can respond promptly to emergencies, and allow nurses more time to thoroughly assess patients, listen to their concerns and understand their medical history.
“We do not have a nursing shortage. We have a shortage of nurses who want to work in hospitals under the current conditions. Establishing safe staffing levels will improve working conditions and bring ready-to-work nurses back to the bedside, thereby addressing our current lack of nurses in our hospitals,” said Mehaffie. “Safe staffing levels protect both our patients and our nurses.
“This legislation is an important part of keeping hospital patients safe and ensuring they receive the best care possible,” concluded Mehaffie.
House Bill 106 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
Representative Thomas Mehaffie
106th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives