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PRESS RELEASE from provider: Globe Newswire
This content is a press release from our partner Globe Newswire. The AP newsroom and editorial departments were not involved in its creation.

Illinois Nurses Association Holds Press Conference to Advocate for Safe Patient Bill

March 6, 2019

When: Wednesday, March 6, 1 p.m.

Where: Illinois State Capitol Building Press Room

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Illinois Nurses Association is holding a press conference to advocate for The Safe Patient Limits Act (HB2604 and SB 1908 ). More than 100 nurses representing a wide spectrum of health care settings are signed up to rally for passage of the bill, which INA argues would save lives by designating limits on how many patients can be assigned to a registered nurse in acute care settings in Illinois hospitals.

The bill is sponsored by Fred Crespo (D.-Hoffman Estates, Ill.). The Senate Bill (SB 1908) is sponsored by Cristina Castro (D.-Elgin, Ill.)

Under current law in Illinois, there is no limit on how many patients an RN can treat at one time.

“Safe Patient Limits are safer for patients and nurses. On a medical-surgical unit, for each patient over four an RN is assigned, the likelihood of death increases by 7%,” said Alice Johnson, executive director of INA.

According to Doris Carroll, RN, INA Vice President and a nurse at the University of Illinois Hospital, inpatient mortality rates were 17% lower on surgical units with better RN to patient ratios in another study. In addition to reducing preventable deaths, better RN staffing diminished adverse outcomes such as hospital-acquired infections, pneumonia, shock, gastrointestinal bleeding, and cardiac arrest, she said.

The Act would designate certain limits for each health care setting. For instance, the Act requires that there be no more than four patients to an RN in any acute care setting; no more than two critical care patients to an RN; and no more than three patients for every ER nurse.

The Act would apply broadly to any acute care unit in any healthcare facility and require healthcare facilities to meet the safe patient limits without diminishing other healthcare staff. The Act would also provide for fines for facilities that violate the safe patient limits, strongly deterring the attempt to save money by skirting the limits.

The Act would not interfere with the ability of hospitals to maintain an acuity system to determine staffing levels based on acuity, so long as the specific safe patient limits in the Act are met.

About the Illinois Nurses AssociationThe Illinois Nurses Association is the nurses’ union, at the forefront, fighting for nurses’ rights and empowering them to be the best advocates for their patients and their community. INA is the nursing union in the State of Illinois, providing professional representation, improving wages and terms and conditions of employment for nurses in bargaining units represented by the INA, creating an environment where all RNs can participate and lead in protecting patient care by organizing unorganized RNs that do not have the professional standards that INA represented members have gained.

INA currently represents nurses working in the private and public sector in Illinois. For more information about the INA, visit http://www.illinoisnurses.com or www.facebook.com/IllinoisNurse

Contact: Chris Martin, INA Media Relations; 630.670.2745; cmartin@davidjamesgroup.com