Nurse staffing ballot question set for November

Athol Daily News: The Patient Safety Act, which would set a limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, has secured a spot on the November 2018 ballot. According to the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care, which drafted the proposed law, the Secretary of the Commonwealth notified the committee the office certified 18,145 signatures in favor of the safety act.

Taylor Maher, spokesperson for the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care, said not having a patient to staff ratio puts patients at risk for medical errors and possible costly re-admissions.

“It would dramatically improve patient safety and also provide flexibility to adjust the nurses’ patient assignments based on the specific patient’s needs,” she said.

Any facility that refuses to comply with the act will be fined up to $25,000 for each day the law is violated, according to the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care.

Maher said the committee will continue to push Massachusetts residents to vote yes on the ballot question come November.

“This has been a long time coming.. we have a lot of nurses on the ground, they are going to be hitting the doors out there and talking to their families and friends. They are really getting involved,” she said.

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