News & Events

For the Record: The true legislative intent on of An Act Relative to Patient Limits in All Hospital Intensive Care Units

During a recent hearing before the Health Policy Commission, the governmental agency charged with developing regulations surrounding the ICU patient limits law, a representative speaking on behalf of the Mass Hospital Association and so called Organization of Nurse Leaders, continued to make false claims about the intent of the new law, stating that the law never intended to mandate a one-to-one patient assignment as the norm in hospital ICUs.  Follow the link below to view a video of incoming Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Northampton), the legislator who drafted the law along with the MNA/NNU, who describes in great detail the true intent of the law, which contradicts every position taken by the MHA since the law passed.  Sen. Rosenberg makes clear  that:

— The norm for all ICU patients is a one-to-one assignment (MHA claims the norm is one to two)

— The only time a second patient can be assigned is when the staff nurses on the unit and the charge nurse agree that the patients are stable enough to allow a two patient assignment (the MHA claims the determination of patient stability and changes of assignment are a collaborative process involving management – the law is clear that it is not, control of these decisions lies primarily with the staff nurse)

— If either of those patients condition worsens, then the assignment must IMMEDIATELY revert back to a one-to-one relationship (the MHA has been pushing for an acuity system where assignments are made at the beginning of a shift and can’t be altered)

— And the only time a nurse manager gets involved in this discussion is when the staff nurses disagree on the  assessment of acuity to allow a two patient assignment.

The MNA/NNU is sharing this video with the Health Policy Commission so everyone involved in this process is clear on the true intent and meaning of this new law.