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Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital Anticipates Loss Of Community Services If Question 1 Passes This November

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Protect Local Healthcare and Your Family - Vote No on One

Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital today announced the negative impacts mandated nurse staffing ratios would have on their viability and their capability to provide safe, quality care to patients in the region. Slated to be Question 1 on the ballot this November, these rigid staffing ratios will devastate smaller hospitals and behavioral health facilities across Massachusetts.

“Mandated ratios, imposed regardless of a hospital’s size, location or the individual needs of its patients, will result in longer wait times, reduced patient services and higher operating costs within every hospital across the state,” said Chief Executive Officer Kim Hollon. “Our healthcare teams need and want the ability to staff to meet individual needs of each patient and adapt according to changing circumstances. Question 1 will not allow us to do that.”

The enormous costs associated with the nurse staffing ballot question will cost Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital approximately $12 million; resulting in bed closures and cuts to programs that offer high quality services to the community. Additionally, the system will be forced to fund the additional RNs by laying off employees prior to the January 1st implementation deadline. In order to comply with the massive costs associated with the rigid ratios included in Question 1, patients will be forced to wait if every nurse is at their mandated number of patients. The ballot question would require hospitals across the state, no matter their size or complexity of their patients, to adhere to the same rigid nurse staffing ratios within all patient care areas at all times. The petition does not make allowances for rural or small community hospitals, holding them to the same staffing ratios as major Boston teaching hospitals.

"At our hospital, we serve patients with unique needs,” said Kim Walsh, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer who has worked at Brockton Hospital for 32 years. “Applying rigid staffing ratios 24 hours a day will require a complete reorganization of our nursing delivery system and elimination of critical members of our team. Managers must be able to adjust staffing to meet the needs of our patients. Question 1 sets arbitrary targets for patient assignments. That just won’t work. We need to be able to administer proper care in real-time if our patients’ status changes or there’s an emergency situation, and that’s why I am voting no on Question 1.”

The ballot question is also opposed by the American Nurses Association – Massachusetts, Emergency Nurses Association - Massachusetts Chapter, Organization of Nurse Leaders, Infusion Nurses Society, Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing, Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses’ Greater Boston Chapter, the Western Massachusetts Nursing Collaborative, the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, and other healthcare and business leaders across the state.

Protect local healthcare and your family. Vote No on Question 1.