Washington is home to some of the best health care in the nation. Throughout the pandemic, the state has been a regional leader in hospital standards and patient safety. The professional judgment of nurses and doctors charged with managing caregiving teams is key to this high-quality care.
State legislators are considering a bill (HB 1868) that would impose government-mandated nurse staffing levels at all hospitals across the state. The proposed law would require every hospital to adopt the same rigid, one-size-fits-all ratios of nurses to patients at all times regardless of a hospital’s size, location or needs of its patients.
WSHA is asking you to join us in urging legislators to protect patient safety and access and let nurses on the ground manage patient care.
Tell your local legislator to oppose HB 1868. Click here to send a direct email, or find your district online here. We’ve drafted the message below that you are welcome to use. This message will be most effective if you customize it to tell the story of how this would impact patient care in your community:
Amid COVID-19 surges, deferred health care impacts, and a mental health crisis, local Washington residents face as precarious a health care situation as ever before. Now is not the time for the Legislature to make it harder for hospitals to treat patients.
HB 1868 would put quality health care at risk. Rigid staffing mandates do not create safer conditions for patients and staff; they take decision-making power away from the bedside, force hospitals to reduce services, and will dramatically increase wait times.
This overly rigid and ill-timed proposal would take decision-making power out of the hands of the health care professionals closest to patients, harm our state’s highly rated quality of care, and increase costs across the board.
As a constituent, I am worried about this bill’s effect on my ability to safely get health care when I need it. Protect patient safety and access. Let nurses on the ground manage patient care. Oppose HB 1868.
Learn more about this legislation and WSHA’s counter-proposals here.