PA 08-79—sHB 5902

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING HOSPITAL STAFFING

SUMMARY: Beginning July 1, 2009, the act requires each licensed hospital, upon request, to make available to the Department of Public Health (DPH) a prospective nurse staffing plan and a written certification that the plan is sufficient to provide adequate and appropriate patient health care services in the ensuing hospital licensure period.

The plan must promote collaborative practice in the hospital that improves patient care and the level of services that nurses and other hospital patient care team members provide.

The act requires each hospital to establish a staffing committee to assist in preparing the nurse staffing plan. The hospital, in collaboration with the committee, must develop and implement the plan to the best of its ability. Hospitals may use existing committees to assist in plan development under certain conditions.

“Hospital” means an establishment for the lodging, care, and treatment of persons suffering from disease or other abnormal physical or mental conditions and includes inpatient psychiatric services in general hospitals.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2008

NURSE STAFFING PLAN DEVELOPMENT

The act requires registered nurses (RN) whose primary responsibility is to provide direct patient care at the hospital to make up at least 50% of the staffing committee's membership. The hospital may use an existing committee or committees to assist with plan preparation if at least 50% of the membership includes RNs whose primary responsibility is to provide direct care.

The nurse staffing plan must:

1. include the minimum professional skill mix for each hospital patient care unit, including inpatient services, critical care, and the emergency department;

2. identify the hospital's employment practices for temporary and traveling nurses;

3. establish the level of administrative staffing in each patient care unit that ensures that direct patient care staff are not used for administrative functions;

4. describe the hospital's process for internal review of the plan; and

5. include the hospital's method for involving its direct care staff in developing the plan.

OLR Tracking: JK: JLK: PF: TS