Fewer Patients, Better Care? Proposed Bill Seeks to Limit Patient-to-Nurse Ratio.

May 1st, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

Tennessee medical malpractice

Seriously ill patients in hospitals depend on competent nursing care when needed; but when there is a shortage of nurses and they are overworked and exhausted, the result is risk to patient safety and their lives.

To prevent these problems, there is now a proposed Congressional bill, House Bill 867, that would limit the number of patients Pennsylvania nurses can care for at one time. The bill bases the nurse-to-patient ratio on the type of hospital unit, with a 1:2 or fewer ratio proposed for intensive care units and a 1:4 or fewer ratio for emergency departments. Advocates of the bill cite the ratio mandate already in California, which has proven to be cost-effective, produce better health outcomes and create openings for job-seeking nurses.  

The hospital industry opposes the legislation, arguing that there is not enough research to support it, there are not enough nurses to meet the lower ratio, and that staffing mandates would force facilities to close.

Nurses disagree and have appealed to the House committee, saying that having too many patients leads to making mistakes and giving poor care. They believe that better nurse/patient ratios dramatically improve safety and actually reduce the costs to hospitals because lower ratios mean better nursing care and fewer nursing errors, resulting in lower malpractice claims.

If you or a loved one has suffered because of negligence due to a shortage of nurses at a hospital, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation to cover your medical and hospital expenses,  other economic losses, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of life’s pleasures prior to death, loss of wages, loss of future wage horizon, and certain relatives may be entitled to make financial claims as well. However, your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania hospital medical malpractice attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to negligence and malpractice by medical professionals and hospitals.  Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation.

We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your case and determine how we can help, so contact us online or call our offices to set up your free consultation.

Negligence Due to Overworked Nurses

Hospitals frequently have numerous patients who are extremely sick and require a high level of nursing care.  Nurses cannot be in two places at once, so if multiple patients are in crisis, it is not surprising that errors occur that can lead to medical malpractice. Some common examples are:

  • Medication errors
  • Preventable infections
  • Failure to adhere to safety procedures, spend enough time with or follow up properly on patients
  • Lack of patient supervision, inadequate triage systems, inadequate record keeping.

Is it Medical Malpractice?

According to Pennsylvania law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional commits medical negligence by violating a reasonable standard of care. The medical negligence must have a factual cause resulting in the patient’s injuries.

Hospitals and their nurses and other staff must uphold proper standards of care, including maintaining safe and adequate facilities and equipment and having adequate and properly trained staff and responsible rules and policies. However, not every injury rises to the level of negligence, and a hospital and its staff is not responsible for every medical complication, injury or death suffered by its patients.

Medical malpractice laws are complicated, so anyone who even suspects medical malpractice should contact an attorney immediately due to the Pennsylvania statute of limitations.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation.

If you or a family member has experienced harm or wrongful death due to nurse medical malpractice in Pennsylvania, your next step should be to consult Clifford Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Or attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

Cliff Rieders was involved in writing the MCare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania.  He wrote the book on Medical Malpractice that virtually every lawyer in the state uses who practices in this field of the law.

Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure advocate.  He is a cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University.  He graduated from law school with a juris doctoral degree from Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.

Cliff has authored a number of other textbooks and articles and he frequently teaches the law to other experienced lawyers.   Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.    He is admitted in numerous state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and state courts in Pennsylvania, New York, and the District of Columbia.

If you or your loved one has suffered harm from someone else’s negligence, your next step should be to consult Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling or using our online contact form.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.