Massachusetts hospitals are facing deteriorating patient care conditions, leading to more complications, readmissions, and errors, as well as longer hospital stays and real life-threatening risks. 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.
When RNs have too many patients to care for, we see a dramatic and dangerous impact on safety and patient outcomes. Study after study shows that there is an absolute need to set a maximum limit on the number of patients that can be assigned to each registered nurse in order to avoid serious complications, mistakes, and preventable readmissions.
Massachusetts ranks fourth worst in the nation for preventable readmissions, and 80% of our hospitals have been penalized by Medicare for those readmissions. Understaffing results in longer hospital stays and higher rates of readmission. Put simply: Hospital finance performance improves with better RN staffing and safer patient limits.
If you place your child in daycare, there is a law that sets a safe limit on the number of children your daycare provider can care for at one time. However, if your child suffers an injury or illness and requires hospitalization, there is no limit on the number of acutely ill children assigned to your child’s nurse.