Nurses concerned these efforts will lead to cutting corners on patient care and increased staffing turnover
(St. Paul) – October 19, 2023 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association have filed an intent to picket on Thursday, October 26, outside Abbott Northwestern, Mercy, and United hospitals. Nurses are speaking out as Allina continues to close services essential to local communities and ignore nurses’ concerns about the outcomes of Allina’s current benchmarking plans.
These profit-driven decisions deny nurses and patients the resources needed to ensure safe staffing and quality patient care at the bedside, betraying Allina’s promise to serve the communities in which they operate as a nonprofit entity.
“Allina Hospital is attempting to enforce a workforce reduction of nursing staff, which they are referring to as benchmarking, and increase our nurse-to-patient ratios on the majority of inpatient units,” said Brittany Livaccari, RN at United Hospital. “This type of benchmarking puts our communities at risk for increased adverse events within the hospitals that are so trusted by our residents.”
While nurses continue to sound the alarm, Allina focuses on the bottom line and dismisses nurses’ concerns, closing adolescent mental health beds at United and the infusion center at Abbott Northwestern.
Not only is Allina closing essential services, but they are also moving forward with plans to reduce nurse staffing levels through a benchmarking process which compares the organization to others across the country. Benchmarking is often used to cut costs and increase efficiency in healthcare systems by comparing one hospital’s standards to several other hospitals and then adopting a new targeted set of standards based on the comparison.
The outcome of Allina benchmarking will lead to cuts in registered nurse staffing up to 30 percent on some units and shifts. While these cost cutting measures are being justified as a normal part of doing business, nurses believe that using benchmarking in hospitals leads to uneven comparisons, increased staffing turnover, moral suffering among healthcare workers, and ultimately a race to the bottom in quality patient care.
This all comes as Minnesota continues to experience a nurse retention crisis and an increasing number of reported adverse health events in hospitals. Research shows that not only are these types of continued cuts to care exacerbating nurses’ flight from the bedside, but they also directly correlate with increased adverse events. Unfortunately, hospital executives are making these changes due to restructuring and consolidation efforts at Allina facilities without addressing the effects their decisions will have on hospital staff and the community.
This informational picket is not a work stoppage; nurses will not be walking off the job to participate in the picket and hospital operations will not be affected by the action.
DETAILS: ALLINA HOSPITALS NURSES INFORMATIONAL PICKET
When: Thursday, October 26, 2023, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Allina Hospitals in the Twin Cities Metro –
Abbott Northwestern, E 28th St., between Chicago & 10th and Chicago between 28th & 27th
Mercy, Coon Rapids Blvd. NW, between Dakotah St. and Blackfoot St. NW
United, north side of Grand Ave. and west side of Smith Ave. between the main entrances
Who: Allina nurses concerned about benchmarking and staffing in their hospitals
What: Informational picket to encourage the public to stand with nurses
Why: To call on Allina to safely staff their hospitals and stop cutting essential community services