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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

are at the hospital were ignored.  

Last year, Tufts CEO Ellen Zane engaged in a highly public battle with a major insurer demanding higher payments for the care of Tufts patients, citing the fact that Tufts nurses and physicians care for the most acutely ill patients in the state. Now, instead of investing those resources in better patient care, Tufts is cutting the level of care provided to them.

"The primary reason you are admitted to a hospital is because your condition is so severe, you require around-the-clock attention by a registered nurse," Tiller explained. "Nurses are specially trained to monitor your condition from minute-to-minute and to take immediate action to prevent complications or to save your life. There's a lot at stake for patients in this struggle, for them, it's truly a matter of life and death."

According to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, every additional patient assigned to an RN is associated with a 7 percent increase in the risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia, a 53 percent increase in respiratory failure, and a 17 percent increase in medical complications. Better RN staffing is linked to better patient outcomes, fewer deaths and shorter hospital stays.

"The nurses who work at these hospitals understand the strictures of the current economic climate," Driscoll added.  "But we believe the hospitals should not exploit this situation to boost their bottom line and patients should not pay the price for misguided decisions to cut costs at the expense of quality patient care."

SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association

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