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In Chicago, nurses take up fight against petcoke piles

In Chicago, nurses take up fight against petcoke piles

“Stunning, just stunning, just stunning,” said Sheilah Garland, shaking her head as she stared out the window of the bus rolling along a dirt road next to towering black piles of petroleum coke on Chicago’s Southeast Side. As an organizer of National Nurses United, a labor union representing about 6,000 nurses in Chicago and 185,000 nationwide, Garland has seen a lot. She represents nurses working in grueling and traumatic situations on a daily basis. And the union has picked fights with powerful politicians, including former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. —Midwest Energy News, 06/09/14 More »

Illinois activists demand moratorium on ‘petcoke’

Illinois activists demand moratorium on ‘petcoke’

Registered nurses and community activists will tour petroleum coke sites in Chicago Monday and publicly demand city officials to declare a moratorium on creating the byproduct they say is a hazard to city residents. National Nurses United is planning a news conference alongside the Southeast Side Environmental Task Force, Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, and Progressive Democrats of America. —The Herald-News, 06/09/14 More »

California Bill Would Let Patients See Out-Of-Network Providers

California Bill Would Let Patients See Out-Of-Network Providers

Health insurance plans have networks of doctors and hospitals that policyholders must use. If a patient wants to see an out-of-network provider, they face higher out-of-pocket costs. But a pending bill in the California Senate would require insurers to offer timely access to care. If that wasn’t possible, patients could see a non-network provider without having to pay more. —Kenny Goldberg, KPBS, 06/06/14 More »

Survey: RN staffing critical

Survey: RN staffing critical

One in four Bay State nurses says that patient deaths are “directly attributable” to having too many people in their care at one time, according to a new survey. The survey, commissioned by the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United, also found 46 percent of nurses said understaffing has resulted in injury to patients, 51 percent said it has led to longer hospital stays, and 57 percent said it has led to medication errors. Research firm Anderson Robbins did the survey of randomly selected nurses. —Marie Szaniszlo, The Boston Herald, 06/05/14 More »

Nearly 1 in 4 MA Registered Nurses Report Patient Deaths Attributable to Unsafe Patient Assignments.

Nearly 1 in 4 MA Registered Nurses Report Patient Deaths Attributable to Unsafe Patient Assignments.

78% of RNs agree that the quality of patient care in Massachusetts hospitals is suffering due to unsafe patient assignments including 59% of RNs who are aware of patient complications and 46% who are aware of patients who have been injured or harmed because hospitals are forcing nurses to care for too many patients at one time. Outraged Legislators Claim the Results Sound the Alarm for Immediate Action on Pending Legislation to Ensure Safe Patient Limits for Safer Patient Care —David Schildmeier, Massachusetts Nurses Association, 06/04/14 More »

Manteca to Kaiser: Restore hospital services

Manteca to Kaiser: Restore hospital services

Manteca’s elected leaders want Kaiser to restore services to the healthcare firm’s Manteca hospital. The resolution adopted by the City Council Tuesday calls for Kaiser Permanente to immediately bring back the following services to the Manteca Kaiser Medical Center on West Yosemite Avenue: • cardiology/echocardiograms so patients needing them will not be transferred to Modesto. • making ultrasound services available 24 hours. • reopen the medical surgical unit. • restoring a full function sub-acute surgical unit. —Dennis Wyatt. Manteca Bulletin, 06/04/14 More »

Pinoy nurses fight closure of Daly City critical care unit

Pinoy nurses fight closure of Daly City critical care unit

Nurses and other hospital workers of the Seton Medical Center staged a vigil last week to protest the proposed closure of the emergency care services and critical care unit. “These nurses behind me, we are all nurses, and we want to keep the hospital open and to be of service to the community. There are a lot of senior citizens in the area especially Filipino people. This is 90 percent Filipino community so they should advocate that Seton will be an acute hospital," said Tessie Cachola, a run staff nurse at Seton for 30 years said. The Daughters of Charity Health System, which owns Seton, reportedly can longer afford to fund the services. —Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau, 06/02/14 More »

Nurses union targets EHRs, other tech in campaign

Nurses union targets EHRs, other tech in campaign

National Nurses United has launched a media campaign criticizing the effects of what it called “digitalized care.” The mutlipronged campaign specifically criticizes electronic health records and bedside computers, saying they “too often fail” and lead to diagnoses and treatments based on “generic population trends” instead of individualized assessments. —Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare, 05/30/14 More »

Computerized Diagnostics in Healthcare Potentially Hazardous to Our Health

Computerized Diagnostics in Healthcare Potentially Hazardous to Our Health

National Nurses United has been running ads on TV and radio lately about the obvious dangers of a troubling trend in our increasingly corporatized, for-profit healthcare system (consisting of the large hospital chains and health insurance cartels), replacing nurses and doctors with computerized diagnostics and protocols, which must be rigidly followed. —necocopiosus, 05/30/14 More »

Nurses ask for public’s help keeping San Pablo hospital open

Nurses ask for public’s help keeping San Pablo hospital open

The California Nurses Association is calling on Contra Costa County residents to demand county leaders save Doctor's Medical Center in San Pablo from certain closure. The hospital is set to close in July after years of financial struggles and the failure of West Contra Costa County voters to pass a parcel tax that might have kept the facility open. —By Noelle Walker, KTVU.com , 05/30/14 More »

Algorithmic MDs Will Ruin Healthcare, Nurses Say

Algorithmic MDs Will Ruin Healthcare, Nurses Say

In a bid to make healthcare cheaper and faster, hospitals are turning to algorithmic systems for diagnosing patients. But the national nurses' union says that robots-meet-super-WebMD are no replacement for a real doctor. —Jordan Pearson, motherboard.vice.com, 05/29/14 More »

County hospital workers rip Preckwinkle’s proposed pension fix

County hospital workers rip Preckwinkle’s proposed pension fix

Several dozen unionized Stroger Hospital employees descended on a Cook County board meeting Wednesday, expressing their displeasure with President Toni Preckwinkle’s pension-reform plan, which is expected to surface soon in Springfield. As county hospital workers waited their turn to address the board, the echoes of an overflow crowd could be heard chanting “save our pensions” from a hallway outside the boardroom. But by the time they were allowed to take the podium, Preckwinkle had ducked out of the meeting to attend a separate event. She later returned after the hospital workers were gone. —Chicago Sun-Times.com, 05/27/14 More »

National Nurses United Slams Health IT as ‘Unproven’ Technology

National Nurses United Slams Health IT as ‘Unproven’ Technology

National Nurses United has announced a campaign that aims to highlight the dangers of using "unproven" medical technology,Healthcare IT News reports. NNU was founded in 2009 and includes about 185,000 members representing every state (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 5/27). —iHealthBeat, 05/27/14 More »

Ryan O’Connell and Neil Berman, On the Job: Bill would benefit at-risk health care workers

Ryan O’Connell and Neil Berman, On the Job: Bill would benefit at-risk health care workers

The California Nurses Association and the vast number of health care workers in California are in support of Assembly Bill 2616 introduced by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner earlier this year. If passed into law, AB 2616 would establish a rebuttable presumption in the workers' compensation system for acute care hospital employees, providing direct patient care, who contract a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infection. Existing law provides that an injury sustained by an employee, arising out of the course and scope of their employment, is compensable under the workers' compensation system. However, what constitutes an injury arising out of the course and scope of employment is often the source of litigation. —Monterey Herald, 05/23/14 More »

Mass. bill aims to rein in health care costs

Mass. bill aims to rein in health care costs

Members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association and the National Nurses United have been urging state legislators to pass a bill they introduced last year, the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act. The HPTFA would limit excessive revenues and executive compensation for nonprofit, state-assisted hospitals, and would require hospitals to publicly disclose their financing, including their tax-sheltered offshore accounts. While health care costs are the financial ruin of many families, hospitals are able to boost revenue in part by keeping offshore accounts, which are not subject to the rigors of taxation or regulatory oversight. —The Bay State Banner, 05/23/14 More »

Whistle-blowing nurse sues Rideout

Whistle-blowing nurse sues Rideout

A Rideout Memorial Hospital whistle-blower who tipped off the state about nurse-patient staffing violations is suing for wrongful termination and alleging she was battered by her boss. Rachel Mendoza alleged in her suit "she was not a helpless nurse under the control of heartless administrators, managers and supervisors because the state of California took violations of safety and health care seriously and would stand up for her rights to demand safe working conditions and proper care and treatment of patients under her care." —Appeal Democrat, 05/22/14 More »

Unions Argue Shuttering San Pablo Hospital Amounts to Discrimination, File Civil Rights Complaint

Unions Argue Shuttering San Pablo Hospital Amounts to Discrimination, File Civil Rights Complaint

When a parcel tax meant to fund Doctors Medical Center failed earlier this month, it was clear something drastic would be needed to save the hospital from closure. Contra Costa County officials say they don't have the millions it would take. Now two unions representing nurses and other health care workers are arguing that shutting down the hospital amounts to discrimination. Saying African-American and senior citizens would disproportionately suffer, they've filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. —KGO 810, 05/22/14 More »

Patients Lose When Doctors Can’t Do Good Physical Exams

Patients Lose When Doctors Can’t Do Good Physical Exams

Doctors at a Northern California hospital, concerned that a 40-year-old woman with sky-high blood pressure and confusion might have a blood clot, order a CT scan of her lungs. To their surprise, the scan reveals not a clot but large cancers in both breasts that have spread throughout her body. Had they done a simple physical exam of the woman's chest, they would have been able to feel the tumors. So would the doctors who saw her during several hospitalizations over the previous two years, when the cancer might have been more easily treated. A middle-aged man admitted to a Seattle emergency room for the third time in six weeks displays the classic signs of liver cirrhosis for which he has been repeatedly treated, including swollen legs and a distended abdomen. —Kaiser Health News, 05/20/14 More »

Video: Judge tells Orlando Health officials they need to resolve labor dispute

Video: Judge tells Orlando Health officials they need to resolve labor dispute

The judge told hospital officials that they need to resolve union-busting claims by hospital employees rather than have her do it. —WFTV 9 - Orlando, 05/20/14 More »

How Much 6 Major Hospital Operators Have Received in EHR Incentive Payments

How Much 6 Major Hospital Operators Have Received in EHR Incentive Payments

CMS has paid out more than $23 billion in electronic health record incentive payments since 2011. In their first-quarter financial reports, six of the country's largest hospital operators have disclosed how much they have received in EHR incentive payments during the three months ended March 31. —Becker's Hospital CIO, 05/19/14 More »

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