NUR 503 Policy Brief III: Letter to Legislator

NUR 503 Policy Brief III: Letter to Legislator

RE: Policy Brief on Patient Outcomes

Dear Senator Murphy,

My name is Christy and I am a nurse practitioner who resides in Connecticut and passionate about the need to address patient outcomes. The need to enhance quality delivery of care implores nurse practitioners to be part of advocacy efforts in ensuring that Congress passes legislations on patient outcomes as these are critical aspects of better healthcare.

Aim of The Policy Brief

The aim of this policy brief is to highlight the need for Congress to enact legislation on patient outcomes that focus on quality care and making all involved in patient care accountable. Based on the premise that patient safety is an integral part of quality care delivery, healthcare organizations and stakeholders need to implement comprehensive patient safety programs, campaigns and efforts focused on the attainment of better outcomes through prevention and reduction of medical errors (AHRQ, 2021). Policy development is a critical part of ensuring that the campaigns, safety programs and activities yield the expected results. Legislators are part of this process since existing regulations on patient safety emanate from deliberate efforts by Congress and other arms of government at state and federal levels to improve the quality of care and patient safety. Policy changes allow legislators to express their opinions and develop laws that address safety concerns which may lead to adverse events and fatalities in health care settings across the nation.

Best Hook for the Audience

Legislation is a vital part of policymaking and existing la

NUR 503 Policy Brief III Letter to Legislator

NUR 503 Policy Brief III Letter to Legislator

ws like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

NUR 503 Policy Brief III Letter to Legislator

NUR 503 Policy Brief III Letter to Legislator

(HIPAA), Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) offer guidelines on improving quality care, access to safety care, and ensuring that healthcare providers remain accountable for each action that they take in their practice settings. However, the existing legislations are not clear on the specific actions that authorities at various levels and players should take when providers breach patient safety requirements. Therefore, it is essential for legislators like yourself to support bills that seek to improve patient safety and address any concerns particularly now when statistics show that medical errors are one of the leading causes of adverse events in healthcare practice.

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Supporting any bill before Congress on patient safety and quality of care improvement is essential to demonstrating legislator’s resolve to address these issues (Rodziewicz, 2021). I would urge that you support the Congressional Bill S.3380 titled Patient Safety Improvement Act of 2020 that is sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. The bill mandates Health and Human Services Department to take certain actions about healthcare-related infections, antimicrobial stewardship and patient safety (Congress.GOV., 2021). The bill recommends incentives to state medical boards to provide sufficient education and training on patient safety. The bill also seeks to harmonize quality measures’ reporting protocols and requirements by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The bill shows the need for healthcare providers and organizations to conduct education and training on patient safety as a way of mitigating adverse events and improving overall quality outcomes.

Background and Data on Patient Outcomes

The issue of patient safety outcomes is an important one for patients and even healthcare providers. Patients anticipate safe and quality care outcomes in their interactions with the healthcare providers and systems. Over 7,000 people die each year because of patient safety associated events that include medical errors and limited access to quality care (Rodziewicz, 2021; Bell 2017). Therefore, patient safety outcomes are a critical issue that needs effective legislation with the aim of protecting the lives of thousands of individuals in accessing and interacting with the health system. The healthcare industry remains one of the most regulated sectors at both state and federal levels. A majority of the existing regulations focus on improving both quality of care and accessibility. However, when patients fail to get expected outcomes, they lose faith and trust in the system.

As a nurse practitioner, I am concerned that without effective laws and legal frameworks, many patients and their families would be disadvantaged in seeking redress arising from adverse events or poor service delivery by healthcare providers. The current legislations on patient safety like the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 mandate voluntary reporting of adverse events with the aim of assessing and resolving patient safety concerns (Lawton et al, 2017). However, despite its existence, patients continue getting poor outcomes and encountering adverse events like medical errors. The implication is that as a legislator, it would be important to consider the merits of the current bill before Congress and support it based on these recommendations

Policy Options and Recommendations

I would indulge your attention to the background information above to help you visualize the current situation and the need for changes in existing laws and policies on patient outcomes. I highly recommend that you support the bill by Senator Whitehouse since it provides a premise of increased federal regulations and mandates that would lead to improvement of quality care for patients. I would also implore you to support the legislation since the policy options are clear that without effective frameworks and clear focus on quality, many patients will continue to face safety concerns. We do not have to loose individuals due to preventable conditions caused by medical errors and near-miss events.

As I conclude my letter, I urge you to support legislations that would enhance quality outcomes by addressing the safety issues encountered by patients in their efforts to seek medical care. I would emphasize the need to develop collaborative frameworks founded on evidence-based interventions to help care providers understand the need for better outcomes.




Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (2021). Nursing and Patient Safety.

Bell, S. K., Gerard, M., Fossa, A., Delbanco, T., Folcarelli, P. H., Sands, K. E., … & Walker, J.

(2017). A patient feedback reporting tool for Open Notes: implications for patient-clinician safety and quality partnerships. BMJ quality & safety, 26(4), 312-322.

DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2016-006020

Congress.GOV. (2021). S.3380 – Patient Safety Improvement Act of 2020. Retrieved from

Lawton, R., O’Hara, J. K., Sheard, L., Armitage, G., Cocks, K., Buckley, H., … & Wright, J.

(2017). Can patient involvement improve patient safety? A cluster randomized control trial of the Patient Reporting and Action for a Safe Environment (PRASE) intervention. BMJ quality & safety, 26(8), 622-631. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2016-005570.

Rodziewicz, T. L., Houseman, B. & Hipskind, J. E. (2021). Medical Error Reduction and

Prevention. StatPearls [Internet].