Do you think our hospital patients are more at risk for preventable harm and even death than they were 5 years ago, 10 years ago, or even 15 years ago? I think the answer is yes.
This is the reason why we continue to fight to protect our patients and advocate for the safest staffing. Now a senate panel convened by Sen. Bernie Sanders spotlighted the issue, noting that patient deaths in hospitals are not getting enough attention. You can read more about it here.
In fact, the committee noted that patient deaths in hospitals are now the third leading cause of death in our nation, behind heart disease and cancer.
We know this is unacceptable and our voices need to be heard. I sent this letter in to the senate panel on behalf of the 26,000 nurse and healthcare worker members of our union:
“With the epidemic proportions of preventable hospital deaths, we believe it’s time for policy and lawmakers to intervene on the patients’ behalf. We need mandated staffing standards to save money and, most importantly, save lives.”
You can read the full letter here.
Dr. Tejal Gandhi, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation, noted a culture where people are afraid to speak out about errors won’t get a hospital very far on any initiative.
I wanted to share this article and letter with you, and also underscore that Dr. Gandhi is right. We need to continue to speak up when we see unsafe conditions for our patients, whether it is with our colleagues, to our managers, within in our community, and to our elected leaders.
In the next few months we’ll have new opportunities for us to work together to advance patient safety, including Nurse Alliance meetings and work to elect leaders who will help us pass a safe staffing law. It will take all of us, and I want to make sure we hear from you.
Chris Barton, RN
Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
Director of SEIU Nurse Alliance NW
juliep August 21st, 2014
Posted In: Nurse Alliance