Vitale Measure To Increase Public Information About Patient Care Passes Senate

TRENTON -A measure sponsored by Senator Joseph F. Vitale that would require greater public reporting of patient care and staffing levels at New Jersey’s hospitals and nursing homes has been approved by the Senate.

“Statistics have shown that the nurse to patient ratio is reflected in the quality of care patients receive,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex, who also chairs the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens committee. “

This measure would allow the public to make more informed decisions about their health care.”

Senator Vitale’s measure, S-689, would require general hospitals and nursing care facilities licensed within the State to compile information detailing the facilities’ staffing levels and the number of registered professional nurses, practical nurses, certified nurses aides and all others who provide direct care to patients.

This information, including the daily ratio of health care professionals to patients, must be posted on a daily basis in the facilities’ patient care area. The bill also requires information about the methods used for adjusting staffing levels, the number of patient care incidents and the number and type of complaints against the facility to be posted.

“The State must be able to monitor the records of the people and facilities that care for sick and disabled residents. These people deserve better; they deserve to receive quality care from well-trained, certified medical professionals, who have their best interest in mind,” said Senator Vitale.

This measure now heads to the Governor where his signature would make it State law.