Press Release: Women’s Health Institute joins support of Patient Safety Act. Measure will protect patients and improve care in Massachusetts hospitals
CANTON – The Women’s Health Institute 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.
“It is urgent that Massachusetts pass the Patient Safety Act to set safe limits in our hospitals. We can do this at the November elections. Patients deserve quality health care and need to understand that they just aren’t receiving it.” – Dr. Catherine DeLorey, Women’s Health Institute President
For more than thirty years, the Women’s Health Institute has offered health information to empower women to make their own wise health decisions. This Boston-based organization encourages women to become educated and engage in the dialogue for appropriate health care for all and health care reform to bring about health care justice.
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.