NUR 514 CLC – When Patient Advocacy Meets Policy: Lobbying for Health Care Change Presentation
CLC – When Patient Advocacy Meets Policy: Lobbying for Health Care Change Presentation
Health care organizations must address nurse-patients ratios through H.R.2581
Appropriate nursing staffing is critical in patient care
Appropriate nursing staffing enhances patient satisfaction
Health Outcomes Improve by reducing:
Length of stay
From an ethical and operational perspective, H.R.2581 is among the most important bills critical in enhancing patient outcomes. The bill’s central premise is that nursing staff is instrumental in promoting quality care and improving health care delivery to patients (Govtrack, 2019). Accordingly, poorly monitored nurse staffing practices may reduce the number of nurses serving patients, jeopardizing quality and overall health care delivery. Underserved patients are dissatisfied, violating the principle of the ethical and professional mandate of nurses’ commitment to protecting patients and prioritizing their needs. Adequate staffing also reduces medication errors and other outcome-centered concerns such as patient mortality, length of stay in hospitals and readmission rates (Healthy Work Campaign, 2019). The outcomes are profound, justifying the bill’s need for more attention.
The bill is rational and introduces practical measures to enhance effectiveness including:
Obliging hospitals to develop staffing plans
Obliging hospitals to be transparent on nurse-to-patient ratios in each unit
Making it mandatory to maintain actual ratios for each shift across units
Developing a ratio determination formula that hospitals must adhere to
Protecting nurses’ abuse if they refuse to violate the law
Despite a bill’s recommendation, many bills are prone to violation by health practitioners. In response, introducing measures to
enhance effectiveness is vital. The measures that H.R.2581 introduces are rational such as obliging hospitals to develop staffing plans compliant with the specified nurse-to-patient ratios and submit them to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Congress.gov, 2019). Other measures to enhance effectiveness include predetermining procedures for nurse-to-patient ratios determination across units and ensuring that nurses can opt not to engage in practices violating the minimum ratios requirements. The bill’s general approach to care provision is rational and puts the patient at the center of its interests.
The bill is important and should be passed.
A balance between expected outcomes and cost implications is essential.
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Through the bill:
HHS must adjust Medicare payments to hospitals
HHS penalizes hospitals violating the policy
Nurse workforce gets stipends for loan repayment and scholarship
The bill is important and should be passed, but it is vital to balance its target outcomes and cost implications. In this case, its operational dynamics should be critically evaluated to ensure that it is sustainable and does not hinder hospitals’ functional capacity and determination to provide quality patient care. For instance, through the bill, HHS should adjust Medicare payments to hospitals to cover additional costs associated with complying with the nurse-to-patient ratios. Nurse retention programs are also necessary to ensure that the bill’s proposals can be sustained. Accordingly, stipends to the nurse workforce loan repayment have been recommended. Such cost implications should be critically evaluated to ensure that the bill’s implementation does not affect operational outcomes targeted in other areas.
Congress.gov. (2019, May 8). H.R.2581 – Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2019. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2581/text
Govtrack. (2019, May 8).H.R. 2581 (116th): Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2019. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr2581
Healthy Work Campaign. (2019). Healthy Work Strategies: Laws to improve nurse staffing levels in hospitals. https://healthywork.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/HWC-Website-Page-Content-Resources-Healthy-Work-Strategies-Laws-to-improve-nurse-staffing-levels-100119-v1-092019-300res-CYMK-1.pdf