WA hospitals, health care unions split on best way out of staffing crisis

Published by THE SEATTLE TIMES on 1/6/23 (Source)

“We’re going back to Olympia for safe staffing standards, because it’s the one policy that health care workers have said would help reduce burnout,” David Keepnews, executive director of WSNA, said during the news conference.

This year’s proposal, unlike last year’s, also includes moving the development of new staffing requirements from the state Department of Health to the Department of Labor and Industries, where they’ll be “developed through rule-making with input from stakeholders,” Keepnews said. More time is also included for hospitals to develop certain workforce development provisions, and for rural, critical access hospitals to meet new staffing standards.

“Our only hope of recruiting and retaining health care workers is to make working conditions in hospitals manageable, and that’s what this bill is about,” Keepnews said. “We need safe staffing standards more now than we did a year ago.”