It is said that setting minimum staffing in hospitals and nursing homes cannot be left to legislators. Only their administrators can understand the complexities of proper mixes of care providers, as F. James McGuire, president and CEO of the Maguire Group, nursing homes operator, has claimed.
In fact, the Safe Staffing bill is based on years of nursing research. That is why nursing organizations and patient and senior citizen advocacy groups support it, along with the Erie County Legislature, Buffalo Common Council and most of our town boards. Legislators do regulate businesses, including setting staffing levels in daycare centers and schools.
It is said that safe staffing is too expensive. Yes, if you ignore the benefits of fewer fines, increased occupancy derived from facilities’ improved reputations, less staff turnover and fewer patient and worker injuries.
It is said that staffing mandates go too far, that regulators should monitor facilities and penalize them when patients are not treated properly. The point of the Safe Staffing bill is to prevent those injuries to patients.
Lou Michel’s recent article shows what is required for our for-profit nursing homes to provide enough staff for excellent care. They charge high fees and attract private pay patients, staffing well while protecting their profits.
The Safe Staffing bill would give all hospital and nursing home patients access to appropriate staffing and care.
Carlene Boisaubin, RN