The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently announced a proposed rule that would set minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes across the country. Regulators believe that this would help increase standards of care for the elderly and sick at these facilities, and prevent nursing home neglect. Unfortunately, low standards of care often result in falls with fractures, decubitus ulcers (bed sores), amputations and wrongful death.
There are currently more than 1.2 million people who are cared for at one of the country’s 15,000 nursing homes. The standards of care for all these patients would be directly impacted by the new regulation. The US Department of Health and Human Services says that the rule would, for the first time ever in history, propose a minimum staffing requirement for nursing homes. Poor staffing and poorly trained staff is often the main reason persons in nursing homes suffer abuse and personal injuries.
This would include a requirement that the facility have a registered nurse on staff 24 hours a day, every single day. It will also require and set a minimum standard of 3 nursing hours for every resident at the facility. That includes 0.55 hours of care per registered nurse per resident per day and 2.45 hours of care by a nurse aide per resident per day. In addition, nursing facilities may also be required to provide more than the minimum staffing requirements in case of specific patient needs.