Government mandated nurse staffing ratios would devastate hospital
BOSTON, MA – September 12, 2018 – Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital today announced the negative impacts mandated nurse staffing ratios would have on their viability and their capability to provide safe, quality care to patients in the Boston area. Slated to be Question 1 on the ballot this November, these rigid staffing ratios will devastate smaller hospitals and behavioral health facilities across Massachusetts.
“Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital plays a critical role in Boston’s health care landscape,” said David Goldberg, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. “Losing over $10 million dollars if Question 1 passes is very concerning—we are a 162-bed, nonprofit teaching hospital. Question 1 will do more harm than good and hinder our ability to provide the best care for our patients in our community.”
According to an independent study by MassInsight and BW Research Partners, the rigid mandate will cost Massachusetts’ health care system more than $1.3 billion in the first year and $900 million every year thereafter.
The ballot question would require that hospitals across the state, no matter their size or specific needs of their patients, to adhere to the same rigid nurse staffing ratios within all patient care areas at all times. The petition does not make allowances for rural or small community hospitals, holding them to the same staffing ratios as major Boston teaching hospitals.
The ballot question is opposed by the American Nurses Association - Massachusetts, Emergency Nurses Association - Massachusetts Chapter, Organization of Nurse Leaders, Infusion Nurses Society, Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing, Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses’ Greater Boston Chapter, the Western Massachusetts Nursing Collaborative, the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, and other healthcare and business leaders across the state.
“There are no scientific studies or reports that demonstrate the effectiveness of government mandated, one-size-fits-all nurse staffing ratio for improving quality of care, patient outcomes or professional nursing practice." said Donna Glynn, President of the American Nurses Association and a Nurse Scientist for the VA Boston Healthcare System. “In fact, no studies evaluating nurse staffing ratios reported a magic number as the single factor to affect patient outcomes or job satisfaction. This ballot question is ignoring scientific fact around what is best for nursing practice, decision making and quality patient care.”
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