Legislation in the field of healthcare is necessary to transform the experiences of patients and caregivers. Policymakers should consider the gaps existing in the field and implement the relevant guidelines to transform the process. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate its context and describe the issues revolving around the policymaking process.
The bill selected for this analysis is the Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2019. It has been considered to guide medical facilities to acceptable patient-nurse ratios and report it to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The bill number is.R. 2581 – 116th Congress (2019-2020). Experts believe strongly that the bill will help more citizens receive timely and sustainable medical services.
Area of Concern
The area of concern leading to the introduction of this bill is the problem of nursing shortage. Many facilities have been characterized by an increasing number of patients and a small number of caregivers. This gap affects the quality of services available to more patients. Another issue revolving around this bill is to equip more practitioners with additional competencies and prepare them for undertaking complex medical roles (Olley et al., 2019). The bill is also intended to streamline reporting while maximizing patient protection.
The identified concern is the nature and quality of medical services available to more citizens. Over the years, the United States has reported a wide range of challenges arising from the issue of nursing shortage. This problem is attributable to the absence of proper laws guiding the training and recruitment of nurses to meet the demands of patients (Fawaz et al., 2018). The country has also failed to introduce legal systems to ensure that practitioners provide their services in accordance with their competencies and academic levels. These gaps have compelled more patients to incur additional costs in care delivery (Marć et al., 2019). The existing legal frameworks are lacking since they fail to describe the acceptable patient-nurse ratios. Fortunately, the country has proper regulatory processes that have compelled policymakers to introduce the specific bill and transform the nature of care delivery.
The selected area of concern attracts a number of stakeholders. The direct ones include patients and nurse practitioners. Citizens will find it easier to get timely medical services while practitioners will not have to work overtime or deal with burnout. Some nurses will be able to expand their roles and record the much-needed satisfaction. Healthcare managers will find it easier to govern their institutions and introduce new procedures to meet the medical demands of the targeted patients. Indirect stakeholders would include government agencies and community members (Marć et al., 2019). These participants will find it easier to seek timely medical services while government institutions will be ready to propose additional measures to improve care delivery processes.
SWOT of the Bill
The bill is advantageous since it has the potential to transform the experiences and practice authority for more practitioners. The bill has been introduced in a timely manner to revolutionize the well-being of more patients (Fawaz et al., 2018). Additionally, it resonates with the demands of more stakeholders in the healthcare sector. The bill introduces new measures for promoting whistle-blowing while at the same time helping protect nurses who engage in actions that can transform patients’ health outcomes.
Some weaknesses are evident in this bill that could affect its implementation and transform the experiences of more stakeholders. Some of the key ones include that it fails to consider the overall financial outcomes of institutions with minimum income levels (Woo et al., 2017). It also does not offer the best approach for guiding medical facilities to transition smoothly within the stipulated period.
This new policy presents a number of opportunities. First, the world is benefiting from emerging technologies that can be combined with improved patient-nurse ratio to maximize medical outcomes (Fawaz et al., 2018). Second, more nurses who have been looking for greener pastures will be tapped ad empowered to continue meeting the demands of more patients. Third, emerging clinical guidelines could be combined with these trends to transform the nature and effectiveness of care delivery.
Some threats to this bill include the inability of policymakers to support it, hospitals’ failure to implement it fully, and the absence of follow-up mechanisms to hold all stakeholders accountable (Fawaz et al., 2018). The involved partners and participants should consider all these issues and implement better strategies to mitigate them.
At the institutional level, hospitals will be able to meet the medical needs of the increasing number of patients while empowering nurses to become competent caregivers. However, such facilities might be forced to increase their expenses to meet the required patient-nurse ratio. Locally, more community members will be able to receive sustainable medical services. At the state level, different agencies will achieve their goals much faster and help improve the overall health of the wider public (GovTrack, 2021). The federal government could be compelled to consider additional support systems or programs to ensure that emerging medical facilities are able to hire the right professionals and maintain the required ratios. These requirements continue to trigger another policy to ensure that all institutions are able to support practitioners and guide them to meet their patients’ medical needs.
The Master’s prepared nurse has the potential to act as a change agent and contribute to the policymaking process. This professional can begin by engaging in advocacy and communicating with different politicians and policymakers to push the agenda forward. The second approach could be to join various forums and associations that work collaboratively to reshape policies in the field of healthcare. These efforts will result in a significant change while at the same time streamlining the policymaking process (Woo et al., 2017). Additionally, this practitioner can introduce new changes in practice to ensure that other colleagues follow outlined clinical guidelines, promote hand-washing practices, and avoid sentinel events by all means. These measures will eventually result in medical care that s sustainable, cost-effective, and personalized. Those who focus on this bill will, therefore, find it easier to present meaningful change and eventually meet the demands of more patients in this country.
The above discussion has identified the proposed bill as evidence-based, timely, and capable of meeting the health needs of more patients. All policymakers and government agencies should be supportive of this agenda since it has the potential to transform the country’s medical field. Master’s prepared nurses should complete some of the outlined roles to push the idea forward and eventually become recognizable change agents.
Fawaz, M. A., Hamdan-Mansour, A. M., & Tassi, A. (2018). Challenges facing nursing education in the advanced healthcare environment. International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences, 9, 105-110. Web.
GovTrack. (2021). H.R. 2581 — 116th Congress: Nurse staffing standards for hospital patient safety and quality care act of 2019. Web.
Marć, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzyńska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2019). A nursing shortage – A prospect of global and local policies. International Nursing Review, 66(1), 9-16. Web.
Olley, R., Edwards, I., Avery, M., & Cooper, H. (2019). A systematic review of the evidence related to mandated nurse staffing ratios in acute hospitals. Australian Health Review, 43(3), 288-293. Web.
Woo, B. F. Y., Lee, J. X. Y., & Tam, W. W. S. (2017). The impact of the advanced practice nursing role on the quality of care, clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost in the emergency and critical care settings: A systematic review. Human Resources for Health, 15(63). Web.