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Legislative Committee To Be Asked to Sponsor Patient Safe Staffing Bill – November 9, 2018.

WHEN: Friday, November 9, 2018 (Tentatively at 10:30 AM)
WHERE: State Capitol, Room 322 Santa Fe

The New Mexico Legislative Health and Human Services Committee (LHHS) is meeting next week on Thursday and Friday (November 8th and 9th). It is expected that committee members will decide what legislation the committee will endorse and theoretically fight for during the 2019 legislative session.


There is a chance that the Patient Safe Staffing bill could be one of those measures endorsed by the LHHS committee if there are a lot of nurses and supporters who show up for the meeting.


At this time the tentative agenda lists Friday at about 10:30 AM as when the committee will review and vote on the legislation they might support.


Patient Safe Staffing Coalition members will be prepared to make an additional presentation and/or answer legislators’ questions about the Patient Safe Staffing bill it has drafted for the 2019 Legislative Session.


This is an Important Meeting.


The Public is invited to attend the meeting on Friday, and there is also a chance for people to make their support known for better nurse staffing at New Mexico hospitals to the legislators at this hearing.


Therefore, the Patient Safe Staffing Coalition of New Mexico is inviting all nurses and supporters of the Patient Safe Staffing bill, who are not working next Friday, November 9, 2018, to come to the state capitol meeting and show support for improved staffing levels at all New Mexico hospitals.


For those who can attend there is parking across the street from the Roundhouse, which is located at the corner of Paseo De Peralta and Old Santa Fe Trail.


The physical address for those using GPS mapping for driving is: 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501.


You can also park in the state parking garage behind the Roundhouse (actually the West side of the Roundhouse). The entrance to the parking garage is on Galisteo Street.


And it is a short walk to the Roundhouse for those who might want to take the train. The train schedule can be access by clicking here.


Click here for a link to the tentative agenda (see page two of the agenda) the Legislature has currently posted for the meeting.

Click here for a link to the Patient Safe Staffing Coalition website.


New Mexico Patient Safe Staffing Bill Modeled After Congressional Bill Supported by the American Nurses Association.


For several years nurses supporting safer staffing levels for patients at New Mexico hospitals have filed legislation based on the same concepts included in legislation the American Nurses Association (ANA) has supported in Washington.


The Patient Safe Staffing Act, which will be filed for the January through March (60-day) New Mexico State Legislative Session, also reflects the ANA supported measure currently before the United States Congress.


In a press statement in February of 2018, The American Nurses Association applauded the introduction of The Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act of 2018 in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, writing “The legislation requires Medicare-participating hospitals to form committees, comprised of at least 55 percent direct care nurses, to create and implement unit specific nurse-to-patient ratio staffing plans. This staffing approach will benefit patients, registered nurses (RNs) and hospitals by decreasing adverse health events, nurse turnover, and costly hospital readmissions.”


The New Mexico version Patient Safe Staffing Act would also establish staffing committees at hospitals (comprised of a majority of direct care nurses) which ” … would specify the minimum number of nurses and ancillary staff required for each shift on the unit based upon the level of intensity of care required by patients and the variability in the number of admissions, discharges and transfers under existing conditions … “


The president of the ANA has been clear in public statements that safe staffing is a primary building block for sound patient care.


ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

“RN staffing makes a critical difference for patients and the quality of their care,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in the ANA’s February press release.


“Appropriate nurse staffing keeps patients safe and protects them from preventable complications, even lowering the risk of death. Nursing care is like medication—we would never withhold a medication when we know its lifesaving effects. The Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act empowers direct care nurses to determine the unique and variable needs of their patients to ensure the safety and quality outcomes of care,”  Cipriano went on to state. 


The following is also from the February ANA press release issued about the national bill:


“Research has shown that adding RNs to unit staffing decisions can reduce the length of stay for hospital patients as well as the risk of adverse events, such as falls, injuries, infections and bleeding. Increasing the number of RNs can yield a cost savings of nearly $3 billion – the result of more than 4 million avoided extra hospital stays for adverse events – and lower costs from hospital readmissions.


“The Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act of 2018 not only considers the complexity and stability of patients, but also nurse experience, available technology, resources and unit workflow such as numbers of admission, discharges and transfers. To date, seven states have enacted safe staffing legislation using the committee approach: Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.


“Addressing nurse staffing is a top priority for ANA. In addition to advocating for legislation at the state and federal levels, ANA leads multiple initiatives to achieve safe, appropriate nurse-to-patient staffing in all health care settings. This work underscores the importance of evidence-based staffing decisions, driven by nurses who understand the dynamic nature of patient care.”


If you are a nurse you know too well that we have waited too long to get this important legislation passed.


Join us by clicking on the button … Join The Patient Safe Staffing Coaltion 


Click here for a link to the draft copy of the New Mexico Patient Safe Staffing Act of 2019.

Click here for a link to Congressional Bill: The Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act of 2018 – S. 2446.