For Immediate Release: August 21st, 2017
Our Revolution Massachusetts Endorses Safe Patient Limits 2018 Ballot Initiative
Massachusetts– Evidence is overwhelming that safe patient limits save lives. However, outside of intensive care units, there is no law in Massachusetts limiting the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time. Our Revolution Massachusetts joined dozens of health and safety organizations, community groups, unions and elected officials in the state and endorsed the 2018 ballot initiative, “An Act Ensuring Patient Safety and Hospital Transparency.” If successful, this measure will establish safe patient limits so nurses can provide higher quality care.
According to the annual survey of the Commonwealth’s registered nurses released on May 11th, 77% reported chronic under staffing was putting their patients at risk. “Nursing is a demanding profession, especially now,” says Eileen Norton, a nurse and the Director of the Ballot Campaign for the Massachusetts Nurses Association; “79% reported patients are sicker than ever and admitted to hospitals with serious medical complications.”
There is ample evidence that too many patients per nurse can be dangerous. According to The Lancet, “There is a direct link between nurses’ patient loads and patient deaths following a number of common surgeries.”
“When we heard nurses themselves say the situation has gotten worse and believe the lives of their patients will be improved, we knew we had to take action and support this ballot measure,” said Michael Gilbraith, member of the Our Revolution Massachusetts leadership team. “We will do whatever it takes to galvanize our membership to ensure its’ passage.”
This could make the difference since thousands of signatures are needed to get it on the ballot. “We don’t have the money to go against the American Hospital Association with their glossy ads. Instead, we believe that boots on the ground will win it for us,” says Eileen Norton.
More information about the campaign can be found on the Massachusetts Nurses Association website: http://www.massnurses.org/SafePatientLimits
To volunteer for this effort and collect signatures in your home town, sign up here: https://timecounts.org/ourrevolutionma
Our Revolution is a non-partisan American progressive political action organization spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. It supports progressive champions at every level of government. For more information, send an email to: info@OurRevolutionMA.com