AN ACT RELATIVE TO PATIENT LIMITS IN ALL HOSPITAL INTENSIVE CARE UNITS
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows: Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following 2 sections:-
Section 230. The department shall administer a folic acid awareness initiative to increase public awareness of and education on the importance of folic acid to patients, families and health care providers. As part of the initiative, the department shall consider efforts to ensure that women receive the following daily recommended dosage levels of folic acid to prevent neural tube defects: 400 micrograms for women of childbearing age; and 600 micrograms for women during pregnancy. The department shall consult with public and not-for-profit statewide maternal and child health care organizations to promote folic acid awareness.
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.