With nurse staffing ballot question behind us, time to think about doing ratios the right way

The attempts of the Massachusetts Nurses Association to mandate limits on the number of patients assigned to each registered nurse in the state went up in flames Election Day, with 70 percent of the electorate rejecting the proposition. But while ballot Question 1 very much deserved its demise, the state should not so quickly abandon the prospect of nurse staffing ratios to safeguard and improve the health of its citizens.

While proponents of the measure inundated voters with cherry-picked evidence and emotional appeals in place of hard facts, the association is correct in its base assertion: Staffing ratios are linked to better patient outcomes. The literature clearly agrees. But requiring uncompromising adherence to unfounded, arbitrary ratios was the downfall of the ballot measure…

Read the rest on Cambridge Day.

Photo: Promo from Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass.

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