News & Events

Call to Action for the Senate to Prohibit Mandatory Overtime

05.11.2012

Next week, the Massachusetts Senate will be debating a major initiative intended to reduce health care costs. As the debate begins, we need to remind our State Senators that cost savings must be made without harming patients and a key way to do that is to prevent the use of mandatory overtime as a staffing tool.

Banning Mandatory Overtime will protect patients and help reduce costs:

  • Nurses working mandatory overtime are three times more likely to make costly medical errors.[i]
  • Stopping mandatory overtime is good for patients. An administrator from the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick said “By not mandating overtime, nurses are better rested, they can think more clearly and patient outcomes improve as a result.”[ii]
  • Overtime for nurses was associated with an increased risk of catheter-related urinary tract infections and bedsores, both preventable medical complications.[iii]
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections carry an average cost of $44,043 per hospitalization, and bedsores carry an average cost of $43,180 per hospitalization. [iv]

Please call your State Senator TODAY at 617-722-1455 and ask that he/she support Senator Rush’s amendment to ban Mandatory Overtime.

Sample script:

“My name is _______________ and I am calling to urge Senator _______________
to support Senator Rush’s amendment to health care payment reform that will ban the dangerous practice of Mandatory Overtime in hospitals. Requiring nurses to work far beyond their scheduled shifts is not only dangerous for patients, but costly for hospitals. I hope we can count on your support for this amendment. Thank you.