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Michigan hospitals push back against bills to set nurse-to-patient ratio and mandatory overtime


There is a continuing debate in Michigan, and nationally, about nursing staffing levels in hospitals and whether there's a shortage of nurses.

Here in Michigan, nurse advocates and some lawmakers are pushingfor the Safe Patient Care Act.

Among other things, that package of bills would set up mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios and prohibit hospitals from ordering nurses to work overtime.

(Some of the bills in question: House Bill 4629, House Bill 4630, and House Bill 4631.)

This is certainly not a new debate. The Lansing State Journal reportedthat some form of legislation to address hospital staffing issues has been introduced every session since 2004.

In a sign that this issue is not getting any better, and that the debate is growing, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is now officially "neutral" on the Safe Patient Care Act. That’s after consistently opposing past legislative attempts. They say businesses "are increasingly concerned about patient safety and health care quality in the hospital setting."  

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association opposes these bills.

Sam Watson joined Stateside today to talk about why. He’s senior vice president of patient safety and quality for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

Listen above. You’ll also hear Watson explain what hospital leadership is doing to work with nurses, and provide patients the “safest care possible.”

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