Help Massachusetts Nurses Enact Safe Patient Limits!

Nurses in Massachusetts are worried about you. For one reason or another, at some point in your life, you will end up in a hospital. When you do, nurses want to care for you to the best of their ability.

Too often, they can’t.

Hospitals treat more and more patients every year. Patients today enter hospitals in worse condition than in the past and need more acute care. Yet front-line nurses are stretched increasingly thin. Tasked with treating too many patients, nurses see excessive medication errors, unnecessary injuries and infections, and even preventable deaths.

It is a serious problem that the hospital industry refuses to address. Fortunately, we have a solution. It is called the Patient Safety Act and it would set safe patient limits for nurses in all units and all hospitals in Massachusetts.

The legislation – a follow-up to a similar ICU law enacted last year – is before lawmakers on Beacon Hill. They have heard from registered nurses around the state, from academic experts and from their colleagues.

Now they need to hear from you.

Do not let the false arguments of the hospital industry win out. Industry executives say there is nothing to support safe patient limits and that it will be too costly. But they are wrong on both counts. Decades of research shows inadequate nurse staffing leads to poor patient outcomes, and California’s experience dismantles the cost argument. After enacting similar legislation, California hospital profits actually rose over seven years from $1.9 billion to $6.2 billion.

Hospitals in Massachusetts are doing pretty well already. As the Boston Globe put it, 2014 was a good year for our hospitals. From the Berkshires to Boston and down Cape Cod, the vast majority of the state’s 62 hospitals increased their operating margins. They came away with profits totaling $1.2 billion.

Yet hospitals will not institute safe patient limits on their own. That’s why we need your help. Nurses want to keep you safe, and this legislation will do just that. Help pass the Patient Safety Act by signing our petition. Tell your lawmakers you deserve the best possible care. 

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