Nurse-to-Patient Ratios and Alternatives to Mandate
The majority of the population is greatly dissatisfied with the current health care system provided. While an effective system can be deemed to be one that is efficient, acceptable and at the same time equitable, the current system has been observed to be lacking in these attributes. Even though many healthcare providers advocated for the mandatory nurse to patient ratio during its inception, the implementation of the same has in the recent past proven to be a tricky and expensive affair. As such, there are some who are vouching for alternatives to this policy. In my opinion, a public disclosure law should be enacted so that healthcare providers can have new avenues to create other alternatives to this policy.
This means that all hospitals would be required by law to publicly post their staff capacity to their clients. As such, this would, in turn, provide the patients with all the information they need regarding the selection of hospitals. Also, this law would ensure that the hospital administration works efficiently and employs the required number of nurses for a given area. Another alternative would be to use the Nursing Intensity Billing system. Each patient requires a different level of attention depending on the severity of the ailment, age, and other variables. As such, charging them in accordance with their nursing needs would ensure that they each get quality service as opposed to the mandatory nurse-patient ratio system, which does not consider these variables.
These alternatives are viable because they consider the financial pressure that healthcare providers must face when it comes to meeting the standards stipulated in the nurse-patient ratio system. In addition, small hospitals and private practitioners who may not have enough money to meet the requirements of the MNPR have the option of adjusting their resources such that they meet the needs of the few clients that they have. Even though these are viable solutions, health organizations, as well as the government, may oppose these alternatives because of the following reasons:
- In terms of the public disclosure law, the clients have the option to go to the hospital that they feel is catering for their needs. American Nurses Association states that many hospitals would prefer to reduce the number of nurses so that the operating costs can reduce rather than hire more nurses.
- The Nursing Intensity Billing system may lead to a rise in medical charges and hospital bills.