Why It Matters
The hospital industry has embraced a “bigger is better” Wall Street approach to health care that is putting profits ahead of patients – ahead of its mission of caring for patients and communities.
While hospitals in Massachusetts have posted profits in excess of $1 billion, they are using our taxpayer dollars to pay their CEOs enormous salary and benefit packages, cutting needed services and forcing their nurses to care for too many patients at one time, which is putting patients and communities at risk.
In response to this patient safety crisis, The Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care is promoting efforts that will dramatically improve patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals. This past year, our campaign was successful in passing a landmark law that will dramatically improve the care for the state’s most critically ill patients. The new law – An Act for Patient Limits in All Hospital Intensive Care Units, requires Massachusetts’ hospitals to adhere to safe patients limits for registered nurses who work in the state’s hospital intensive care units, ensuring that no nurse can be assigned more than one patient at a time, or when it is safe to do so, a maximum of two patients.
Numerous studies in the most prestigious medical journals have clearly demonstrated that the most important factor contributing to your health and safety during a hospital stay is the number of other patients your nurses is assigned to care for. Unfortunately, while Massachusetts patients now have access to safe care under the new law in the ICU settings, there is NO legal limit on the number of patients assigned to nurses in other areas of the hospital.
To ensure your safety in all areas of the hospital at all times, efforts continue to extend safe patient limits for nurses throughout all patient care areas in all of the state’s hospitals.
So the next time you or a loved one are admitted to a hospital for a medical issue – JUST ASK (how are my taxpayer dollars being used to ensure I receive the care I need? And how many other patients will my nurse will be caring for today?) It could save your life!