News & Events

Health Policy Commission to Hold a Hearing Tomorrow on the New ICU Safe Patient Limits Law

 Seeks Nurses Input in Development of Acuity Tool

Wednesday, October 29
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Daley Conference Room
Fifth Floor (China Trade Building)
Two Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts

 On September 28, the state implemented a new law that requires hospitals to adhere to safe patient limits for registered nurses who work in all the state’s hospital intensive care units, ensuring that no nurse can be assigned more than one patient or in certain circumstances, no more than two patients based on the assessment of the staff nurses (not managers or supervisors) on that unit.

The new law, An Act for Patient Limits in All Hospital Intensive Care Units, applies to ALL types of intensive care units. The law calls for the Health Policy Commission to establish criteria for an acuity tool to be used by all hospitals to assist staff nurses in determining if their patient is stable enough to allow for a second patient to be added to the nurses’ assignment.

As part of that process, the Health Policy Commission (HPC) will conduct a Listening Session on the implementation of the new law specifically focused on helping the Commission formulate the “acuity tool,” the method of public reporting of staffing compliance, and identifying three to five patient safety quality indicators to be measured and reported by hospitals.

The MNA/NNU will be testifying at this listening session and we have a number of ICU nurses providing testimony from hospitals throughout the state.