Retirement Security

February 09, 2016

NYSARA joins the New York Campaign for Patient Safety to advocate for the Safe Staffing and Quality Act (A08580-A/S782)

NYSARA President Barry Kaufmann attended a legislative breakfast to begin the advocacy for the Safe Staffing and Quality Act. (A08580-A/S782) NYSARA is among 13 groups to sponsor this initiative.  While seniors are surely not the only consumers that utilize our hospitals, we generally use those services at an higher level than most age groups and often suffer worse outcomes.  This legislation will save lives by insuring an adequate number of nurses are at the bedside of patients inside New York Hospitals.  Among other things, this legislations will:

  • Establish safe nurse to patient ratios for nurses in units at all New York hospitals
  • Require hospitals to staff units using nurses that are trained for care in that unit.
  • Require hospitals to be more transparent about their staffing levels
  • Set a maximum number of patients a nurse is responsible for at any given time.

In a November 2015 poll by the Mellman Group of 1,000 New Yorkers, a staggering 85% said they support a maximum number of patients a nurse can care for at one time.  67% of those polled said there are not enough nurses in New York hospitals.

The fact is that despite the high cost of its hospital care New York ranks 34th in the nation in hospital safety.  A major factor explaining this is a high patient to staff ratio.  Many studies have found that if there are more nurses there are more survivors.  In fact with one additional nurse per patient per day there is a 16% higher survival rate for surgical patients, 9% higher survival rate with intensive care patients and a 6% higher survival rate for all other medical patients.  Safe staffing also positively impacts readmission rates.

NYSARA President Kaufmann said:

“On behalf of the 440,000 seniors that are represented by the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, the issues of chronic under-staffing and low nurse-to-patient ratios are alarming and real. Ignoring nurses’ concerns for the well-being of their patients is both egregious and ill-advised. It is imperative that this legislation be passed to protect citizens of all ages across New York State.”

Call your NYS legislators and insist they support the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act.  (S.782/A.8580-A)


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Topics: ARA Issues