Patient Safety (Page 10)

Nurses at the Capitol

MNA nurses flooded the Capitol on Tuesday, bringing the message that patients are at risk in Minnesota hospitals, and we must have a statewide standard of care to ensure patients get the nursing care they deserve.

Nurses from all over the state came to St. Paul on Tuesday to meet with their legislators and call for patient safety legislation, as well as to support Governor Dayton’s budget and increased access to affordable health care for all Minnesotans. Nurses also took part in education sessions and heard from speakers including Governor Mark Dayton and Commissioner of Management and Budget,  Jim Schowalter.
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update, February 8, 2013  »


Nurses on the Hill 2013

MNA’S Nurses Day on the Hill 2013 in pictures

Legislators learned a lot about patients at risk in acute care hospitals, and why MNA members support the Governor’s proposed budget and Health Care for All. Revisit MNA’s Blog later today for a video featuring nurse stories.


Boost in Hospice Care By Way of ICU   Yes, more people are getting hospice care — but they are getting it for only a few days and often, only after highly aggressive care near the end of life, including multiple hospitalizations and stays in intensive care units.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, February 6, 2013: Nurses lobby for patient care; Good-bye Saturday mail  »


Forced Flu Shots Not the Cure    Too many hospitals, whose mantra is profits, not patient safety, favor forced vaccinations while cutting nursing or housekeeping staff, and denying paid sick leave, as most industrialized nations ensure.

Staffing Danger on Wards      More than 57% of those asked in the survey described their ward or unit as sometimes or always “dangerously understaffed”. Of those who had witnessed poor care, nearly 30% said they had seen it happen regularly.


Everybody’s Workin’ for … The Health Care Benefits     Three-quarters of retirees said they worked longer than they would have otherwise to maintain access to their health plan.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, February 4, 2013: On forced flu shots; Staffing “dangerously low” in Britain too  »

Linda-Hamilton_1by MNA President Linda Hamilton, RN, BSN

After nine years, hospitals are still reporting 314 adverse events that could have been prevented.

Patients are suffering; families are grieving because systems did not adequately protect them from preventable mistakes, such as falls and the development of pressure ulcers.

Beyond the sobering revelations of Wednesday’s 2013 Adverse Health Event report, nurses at the bedside are deeply concerned that other troubling instances are not reported.   We catch our breath with every “near miss,” every late medication, every discharge with hasty instruction.  We provide a safety net through our continual monitoring, but we see the foundation of that net eroding more each day.
… Read more about: Preventable Adverse Events Are a System Failure  »


Docs Weigh In:  Workloads are Unsafe   (JAMA abstract only)  For resident physicians, workload so heavy as to result in physician fatigue is associated with increased medical errors and has led to the implementation of work-hour restrictions.23 For nurses, a recent cross-sectional analysis showed a significant association between patient mortality and low staffing.4 Fourteen states have enacted legislation and/or adopted regulations to address nurse staffing.5



Ford UAW Workers Receive $8,300 Profit Payout    UAW members have not had a wage increase in at least eight years, relying on lump-sum payments and profit sharing for between 20% and 25% of their annual pay, Dziczek said.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, January 30, 2013: Docs weigh in-patients are not safe  »


OpEd: Report Medical Errors and Caregiver Injuries   Every 24 hours across the nation there are, on average, 4,658 newly identified hospital-acquired infections, 1,369 patient falls and perhaps as many as 800,000 medication errors. Furthermore, injuries to caregivers are among the highest rates of any occupation, with as many as 950 injuries per day in the United States.


A Hospital Bill Without the Hospital    To many people this may be the equivalent of billing for oral surgery after a teeth cleaning. But Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, which owns the dermatology practice, said Reed’s insurer allows the Burlington hospital to charge patients an overhead fee when they are treated by doctors it employs — even when their offices are not located in the hospital but in a medical building 1½ miles away.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, January 28, 2013: Medical errors & caregiver injuries need Presidential priority  »


When Paying It Forward Pays Us Back    One such example is the Transitional Care Model (TCM), which provides planning and home follow-up by trained nurses for chronically ill Medicare patients during and after hospitalization. The TCM illustrates a key point. Often, to save money you need to change systems, or add new functions, not just cut things.

Nurse Staffing, Bedsores Remain on Parkland Problem List    Parkland Memorial Hospital has completed 94 percent of the quality and patient safety targets necessary for it to continue receiving federal funding, but the institution continues to struggle in the areas of nurse staffing, timely patient discharges and bedsore prevention, according to a report given to the hospital’s Board of Managers Tuesday.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, January 23, 2013: When paying it forward pays us back; Prolong CPR  »

Staffing for Patient Safety


MNA lobbyists are meeting with legislators on a daily basis to move our campaign for patient safety forward. We continue to make progress toward our goal. Earlier this week, members of the MNA Government Affairs Committee visited the Capitol and met with legislators to talk about their experiences at the bedside and the need to ensure that every patient in Minnesota can get the nursing care they need. We will continue to bring you news about this campaign as it unfolds. In the meantime, use the MNA Grassroots Action Center to contact your state senator and representative and let them know how nurse staffing affects your patients.
… Read more about: MNA Legislative Update – January 18, 2013  »


Improving Nurses’ Work Environment Can Help Reduce Readmissions    The study, led by Matthew McHugh, PhD , JD, MPH, RN, FAAN, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, found that  increased nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and a good work environment for nurses were associated with reduced 30-day readmission rates for Medicare patients with heart failure, myocardial infarction, and pneumonia. Funding for the study came from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program.

New Grads Finding Rough Road to Employment    Since the recession, health care has been the single biggest sector for job growth, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get hired.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, January 14, 2013: More Nurses Mean Fewer Readmissions  »