Patient Safety is Our Number One Priority
The Patient Safety Act will dramatically improve patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals by setting a safe maximum limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, while providing flexibility to hospitals to adjust nurses’ patient assignments based on specific patient needs.
Press Release: Massachusetts Senior Action Council joins support of Patient Safety ActMeasure will protect patients and improve care in Massachusetts hospitals
CANTON — Massachusetts Senior Action Council (MSAC) added their support to the growing list of organizations and committees to endorse An Act relative to patient safety and hospital transparency (the Patient Safety Act). The ballot measure will dramatically improve patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals by setting a safe maximum limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, while providing flexibility to hospitals to adjust nurses’ patient assignments based on specific patient needs. The measure will be for voters’ consideration on the November 2018 ballot.
“Seniors need quality time and attention during and after hospital stays to live healthy and independently” said Pam Edwards, MSAC Director of Organizing. “Not only will the Patient Safety Act give nurses a better ability to care for seniors, but it will provide an overall safer environment for nurses and patients alike.”
Massachusetts Senior Action Council is a state-wide grassroots, senior-led organization that empowers its members to use their own voices to address key public policy and community issues that affect their health and well-being.
Currently the organization serves 1,200 members statewide and focuses not only on issues directly affecting seniors such as Medicare and Social Security, but also general social justice and policy issues in Massachusetts.
The Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care is a broad coalition united in support of the Patient Safety Act, advocating for stronger patient outcomes, and consistency and accountability in our hospitals. The coalition is made up of advocates across Massachusetts, including registered nurses, patients and family members, health and safety organizations, community groups, unions and elected officials. For a full list of endorsing organizations, please visit: https://safepatientlimits.org/who-we-are/.
Today, outside of acute care hospital intensive care units, there is no law that specifies how many patients a nurse can safely care for at one time. It is not uncommon for nurses in Massachusetts to have six or seven patients at one time, when a safe limit would be no more than four patients for a nurse on a typical medical/surgical floor. Numerous studies show that when nurses have safe patient assignments as proposed by the Patient Safety Act, patient readmissions, medical errors, infections and other complications are dramatically reduced, saving healthcare systems millions of dollars each year.
Sentinel & Enterprise: I support the Patient Safety Act, a November 2018 ballot measure establishing safe maximum limits on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time. As a registered nurse for 27 years at the bedside, currently at HealthAlliance in Leominster for the past 11 years, I have had experience trying to care for too many patients at one time. It was exhausting, dangerous, and goes against our best science as well as common sense.
Youtube: Health care workers who experienced safe patient limits becoming law in California 14 years ago confirm that no hospitals closed as a result, no non-RN staff were laid off and the law helped patients. They support a similar law in Massachusetts and encourage voters to say YES to Question 1 on November 6.
WGBH: Is it best to legally limit how many patients one nurse can care for? That’s what Massachusetts voters will decide on election day in November.
Jacobin Magazine: California is currently the only state in the nation with minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. When other state legislatures have tried to follow suit, powerful hospital industry associations have blocked passage of all similar bills.