HARRISBURG, May 10, 2016 – Dozens of nurses rallied in the state Capitol Rotunda today to show support for legislation sponsored by Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) that would improve staffing and the quality of care at Pennsylvania hospitals.

Fontana’s Senate Bill 1081 would require hospitals to compile and publicly disclose daily reports for each of their patient care units. The state Department of Health would then provide the information on an online database that citizens could use to compare hospitals across the state.

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“My bill is commonsense legislation that would require hospitals to be transparent, held accountable and provide the best quality of care possible,” Fontana said. “By requiring hospitals to report daily staffing levels, they will be compelled to improve staffing and patients will become more empowered to make informed healthcare choices.”

Fontana said his bill would also enable nurses and other direct care workers to make decisions about where they want to seek work.

“People wouldn’t buy a house without reading the inspection report; and they wouldn’t buy a car without checking the vehicle history,” Fontana added. “Pennsylvania residents shouldn’t be forced to choose a hospital without the information they need to make an educated choice.

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“And let’s face it – the responsibility to provide a safer environment for patients and staff alike is one that hospitals throughout this commonwealth should embrace.”

The Fontana bill mandates that the daily reports include staffing levels for RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and other unlicensed personnel responsible for direct patient care; ratio of patients to RNs, LPNs, CNAs and unlicensed direct care personnel; and RN, LPN, and CNA turnover rates. The measure would also provide whistle blower protections for staff who speak up about staffing quality of care issues in their facilities.

Senate Bill 1081 is currently under consideration in the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare.

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