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Assembly Passes Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Aileen Gunther and Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried announced the passage of legislation to require acute care facilities and nursing homes to adopt minimum staffing requirements, establishing a safe nurse-patient ratio.

"Healthcare workers are the backbone of public health system," said Speaker Heastie. "We want to ensure that New York's dedicated nurses are provided sensible and manageable workloads so they can focus on providing excellent care for each of their patients."

The bill (A.8580-A, Gunther) would require a hospital or nursing home's application for an operating certificate to contain a staffing plan with standards for nurse-patient ratios and require compliance with the standards established. Additionally, it would require acute care facilities to publicly disclose their staffing requirements and direct the Department of Health to consider an applicant's staffing violations when reviewing applications and renewals for its operating certificate.

"The number of patients assigned to a nurse has a direct impact on the quality of care that nurse can provide," said Assemblymember Gunther. "This bill would go a long way to improve patient care and reduce incidences of adverse outcomes for healthcare facilities."

"Safe staffing saves lives, improves outcomes and reduces avoidable patient injuries," said Assemblymember Gottfried. "Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) determined the odds of patient death increased by seven percent for each additional patient the nurse must care for at one time. The ratios and hours specified in this bill are based on peer-reviewed and evidence-based recommendations, and will ensure that hospitals and nursing homes are safer and provide higher quality care."

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