(210 ILCS 85/10.10)
Nurse Staffing by Patient Acuity.
(a) Findings. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The State of Illinois has a substantial interest
in promoting quality care and improving the delivery of health care services.
(2) Evidence-based studies have shown that the basic
principles of staffing in the acute care setting should be based on the complexity of patients' care needs aligned with available nursing skills to promote quality patient care consistent with professional nursing standards.
(3) Compliance with this Section promotes an
organizational climate that values registered nurses' input in meeting the health care needs of hospital patients.
(b) Definitions. As used in this Section:
"Acuity model" means an assessment tool selected and implemented by a hospital, as recommended by a nursing care committee, that assesses the complexity of patient care needs requiring professional nursing care and skills and aligns patient care needs and nursing skills consistent with professional nursing standards.
"Department" means the Department of Public Health.
"Direct patient care" means care provided by a registered professional nurse with direct responsibility to oversee or carry out medical regimens or nursing care for one or more patients.
"Nursing care committee" means an existing or newly created hospital-wide committee or committees of nurses whose functions, in part or in whole, contribute to the development, recommendation, and review of the hospital's nurse staffing plan established pursuant to subsection (d).
"Registered professional nurse" means a person licensed as a Registered Nurse under the Nurse
"Written staffing plan for nursing care services" means a written plan for guiding the assignment of patient care nursing staff based on multiple nurse and patient considerations that yield minimum staffing levels for inpatient care units and the adopted acuity model aligning patient care needs with nursing skills required for quality patient care consistent with professional nursing standards.
(c) Written staffing plan.
(1) Every hospital shall implement a written
hospital-wide staffing plan, recommended by a nursing care committee or committees, that provides for minimum direct care professional registered nurse-to-patient staffing needs for each inpatient care unit. The written hospital-wide staffing plan shall include, but need not be limited to, the following considerations:
(A) The complexity of complete care, assessment
on patient admission, volume of patient admissions, discharges and transfers, evaluation of the progress of a patient's problems, ongoing physical assessments, planning for a patient's discharge, assessment after a change in patient condition, and assessment of the need for patient referrals.
(B) The complexity of clinical professional
nursing judgment needed to design and implement a patient's nursing care plan, the need for specialized equipment and technology, the skill mix of other personnel providing or supporting direct patient care, and involvement in quality improvement activities, professional preparation, and experience.
(C) Patient acuity and the number of patients for
whom care is being provided.
(D) The ongoing assessments of a unit's patient
acuity levels and nursing staff needed shall be routinely made by the unit nurse manager or his or her designee.
(E) The identification of additional registered
nurses available for direct patient care when patients' unexpected needs exceed the planned workload for direct care staff.
(2) In order to provide staffing flexibility to meet
patient needs, every hospital shall identify an acuity model for adjusting the staffing plan for each inpatient care unit.
(3) The written staffing plan shall be posted in a
conspicuous and accessible location for both patients and direct care staff, as required under the Hospital Report Card Act. A copy of the written staffing plan shall be provided to any member of the general public upon request.
(d) Nursing care committee.
(1) Every hospital shall have a nursing care
committee. A hospital shall appoint members of a committee whereby at least 50% of the members are registered professional nurses providing direct patient care.
(2) A nursing care committee's recommendations must
be given significant regard and weight in the hospital's adoption and implementation of a written staffing plan.
(3) A nursing care committee or committees shall
recommend a written staffing plan for the hospital based on the principles from the staffing components set forth in subsection (c). In particular, a committee or committees shall provide input and feedback on the following:
(A) Selection, implementation, and evaluation of
minimum staffing levels for inpatient care units.
(B) Selection, implementation, and evaluation of
an acuity model to provide staffing flexibility that aligns changing patient acuity with nursing skills required.
(C) Selection, implementation, and evaluation of
a written staffing plan incorporating the items described in subdivisions (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this Section.
(D) Review the following: nurse-to-patient
staffing guidelines for all inpatient areas; and current acuity tools and measures in use.
(4) A nursing care committee must address the items
described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (3) semi-annually.
(e) Nothing in this Section 10.10 shall be construed to limit, alter, or modify any of the terms, conditions, or provisions of a collective bargaining agreement entered into by the hospital.
(Source: P.A. 96-328, eff. 8-11-09; 97-423, eff. 1-1-12; 97-813, eff. 7-13-12.)