We have a disturbing crisis in Massachusetts hospitals. Registered nurses are being forced to care for too many patients at once, and patients are suffering the consequences in the form of preventable errors, avoidable complications, increased lengths of stay and readmissions. The Patient Safety Act calls upon DPH to set a safe limit on the number of hospital patients a nurse is assigned at one time. In addition, the bill calls for staffing limits to be adjusted based on patient needs. It also bans mandatory overtime and includes initiatives to increase nursing faculty and nurse recruitment.
In both 2006 and 2008, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Patient Safety Act by overwhelming margins. We are continuing to fight to get this important legislation passed in the Senate. Visit the Coalition to Protect Massachusetts Patients Web site to learn more.
This page contains a wealth of information to assist nurses and other supporters of safe patient care in advocating for the passage of the Patient Safety Act.