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Tufts Medical Center and Boston Medical Center Nurses Hold a Joint Informational Picket to Protest Unsafe Staffing and Practice Conditions
Date:2/11/2010

there are more than 40 studies that provide overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrating that implementing changes such as those proposed at Tufts would dramatically increase the risk of patient injury, complications, the length of hospital stays, and could even lead to preventable deaths.  

In a letter to management signed by nearly all the nurses on a busy cardiac floor, the nurses wrote: "With both the current and newly proposed staffing models ... opportunities for critical observation and patient advocacy will effectively disappear … higher nurse-patient ratios will lead to increased mortality and poor patient outcomes."

In creating the new staffing model, the hospital violated the nurses union contract, which includes a process for the union and management to work together to address staffing concerns.  Tufts management ignored that process and utilized the consultant to engage in a process, common for these redesign schemes, where committees are formed and elaborate processes are implemented to give staff the illusion that they have helped develop the new model of care.  

"This process is a sham," said Julie Pinkham, RN, executive director of the MNA, who was involved in efforts during the 1990s to combat the redesign initiatives.  "Management knows from the beginning what cuts are going to be made and what model they will end up with.  The committees are used to co-opt the employees and to make them believe they are responsible for creating the changes, the very changes that will undermine their ability to deliver safe patient care. "

The nurses at Tufts were not fooled by the process.  More than 30 nurses who participated in the planning committee for the new model have signed a letter stating their opposition to the changes and to the fact that their actual suggestions to improve c
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SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association
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