Ohio Patient Protection Act introduced

State Reps. Michael J. Skindell (D- Lakewood) and Catherine D. Ingram (D-Cincinnati) today announced the introduction of Ohio House Bill (HB) 637, legislation designed to increase patient safety by setting limits on the number of patients a registered nurse (RN) may care for at one time. The RN-to-patient ratio requirements will be based on the seriousness of the condition being treated or the medical procedure in which the respective patient is undergoing.

HB 637 requires a minimum, numerical nurse-to-patient ratio with a requirement that additional nurses be added when needed. There are several critical settings where the requirement would be one nurse to one patient including the operating room, a trauma, critical care patient, and an unstable newborn or one in a resuscitation period.

“Studies have shown that safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios save lives,” said Rep. Skindell.

“These policies will help ensure that patients get the best medical care based on need and will provide nurses with safeguards to ensure that they are protected from retaliation for whistleblowing and refusals to follow potential violations of the law. Genuine and enforceable safe-staffing standards will save money and lives by ensuring that patients obtain excellent nursing care.”