UNAC/UHCP President Denise Duncan, RN, released the following statement explaining why Massachusetts voters should vote yes on Question 1:
“Staffing ratios save lives. While my experiences as a registered nurse in California before and after California mandated maximum nurse-to-patient ratios make this abundantly clear, it’s also been borne out in research done by nursing scholar Linda Aiken. In her landmark study of 168 hospitals in Pennsylvania in 1998-1999, she found that each additional patient assigned to a nurse resulted in both a 7% increase in 30-day patient mortality and in failure-to-rescue rates.
“Massachusetts voters have the opportunity next month to put in place basic patient protections that will reduce patient deaths due to understaffing nurses. Alone it won’t ensure safe staffing. But it’s an obvious place to start. I urge voters to support this critical ballot measure.”