Website To Defeat Nov. Ballot Question Goes Live

The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety – organized to mobilize opposition to the November ballot question on government-mandated nurse staffing ratios – launched its website last Monday. Visit the website here.

One nursing union, representing less than 25% of the nurses in the state, is promoting a ballot question that would require every hospital to adopt rigid, one-size-fits-all, R.N.-to-patient ratios at all times – regardless of a hospital’s size, location, or the needs of patients.

The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety website lays out the facts about how mandated ratios will adversely affect patient care. The website contains, among other items, video testimonials from frontline nurses across the state who are opposed to mandated ratios, as well as ways the public can get involved in the campaign.

California is the only state that has implemented nurse staffing mandated ratios, and there is no evidence that those mandates have increased the quality of care patients receive.

The nursing union that has attempted to impose ratios in Massachusetts over the past 20 years has been consistently opposed by healthcare leaders – doctors, nurses, policy makers, and others – who feel that arbitrary ratios ignore that not all healthcare is the same; that patients have different needs, nurses have different experience and education, and that the composition of care teams is always changing and that each hospital has its own abilities and constraints.

The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety is currently made up of MHA, the Organization of Nurse Leaders, ANA Massachusetts (the local chapter of the American Nurses Association), the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, and the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals. Numerous Chambers of Commerce have endorsed the coalition’s effort. Check the website’s “Supporters” tab for regular updates of supporters.