Massachusetts RNs launch signature drive for safe patient limits
Massachusetts Nurses Association Press Release, 9/23/13
Join the campaign, help us gather signatures to protect our patients
- Patient Safety Act Signature Drive Campaign Flyer
- Ballot Initiative Language for the Patient Safety Act Certified by the Attorney General
- Instruction Booklet on How to Gather Signatures for the Ballot Initiative
- To obtain petitions to start gathering signatures to put the Patient Safety Act on the ballot, call the MNA at 781.821.4625 and ask to speak with the membership department.
- To download and copy your own Patient Safety Act Petition click here. Please note: The petition must be on 8 1/2 x 11 and both sides of the petition have to be copied back-to-back. You cannot print out the two sides and then staple them together. No color paper or perforated paper with notebook holes will be accepted.
On September 18, MNA nurses kicked off the signature campaign to put safe patient limits on the ballot. Packets with petitions and instructions have gone out to all bargaining units. Please see your local bargaining unit committee chair, committee member, or floor rep to get petitions – or you can call the MNA office at 781.821.4625 (and ask for the membership department) to get petitions and instructions. Sign and circulate the petition today! Working together we can make safe staffing the law in Massachusetts!
What is a ballot initiative and why are we doing one?
A ballot initiative is a process that empowers the voters to propose legislation and to enact or reject that legislation at the polls. It is a process that is independent of the state Legislature and its lawmaking power, which means that it is a type of election that is commenced and carried out by the people.
The purpose of a ballot initiative is to permit registered voters to resolve questions where their elected representatives have failed or refused to proceed with a change that the public desires.
With these details in mind, MNA members made a motion at last year’s annual convention requesting that a ballot initiative specific to safe patient care get underway. The motion passed overwhelmingly. Why? Because MNA nurses everywhere knew that it was time to take control of their destiny and to stop relying on the Legislature.
Furthermore, the research and data specific to safe patient care entirely support the MNA’s efforts on this front. For example:
- Higher nurse workloads are associated with more patient deaths, complications, and medical errors (AHRQ Healthcare Innovations Exchange, September 2012).
- Overcrowding and understaffing have had a negative effect on patient safety and quality of care, evidenced by the flourishing of health care-acquired MRSA infections (Lancet Infectious Disease, July 2008).
- A national study on the rate of death from cardiac arrest in hospitals found that the risk of death from cardiac arrest in the hospital is nearly 20 percent higher on the night shift. The authors highlight understaffing during the night shift as a potential explanation for the death rate (JAMA, February 2008).
Equally compelling are the following statistics:
- Each and every time the MNA membership is surveyed the need for safe patient limits is identified as the number one issue affecting patients and their safety.
- Likewise, members consistently identify safe patient limits as the issue that the MNA should be investing its time and resources into resolving.
- Important News and Information
Press Release on AG Certification of Patient Safety Act Ballot Initiative
Research supporting Patient Safety Act’s call for safe patients limits
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