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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 231: Limitation on patient assignments per nurse in intensive care units; development and certification of acuity tool

Section 231. For the purposes of this section, the term ''intensive care units'' shall have the same meaning as defined in 105 CMR 130.020 and shall include intensive care units within a hospital operated by the commonwealth.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in all intensive care units the patient assignment for the registered nurse shall be 1:1 or 1:2 depending on the stability of the patient as assessed by the acuity tool and by the staff nurses in the unit, including the nurse manager or the nurse manager's designee when needed to resolve a disagreement.

The acuity tool shall be developed or chosen by each hospital in consultation with the staff nurses and other appropriate medical staff and shall be certified by the department. The health policy commission shall promulgate regulations governing the implementation and operation of this section including: the formulation of an acuity tool; the method of reporting to the public on staffing compliance in hospital intensive care units; and the identification of 3 to 5 related patient safety quality indicators, which shall be measured and reported by hospitals to the public.