This page contains the position of Brigham and Women's Hospital on timely and relevant issues that may be misrepresented by other sources. We want to ensure that our Brigham community, our patients and the general public have the facts. We will update this page on a regular basis.
May 30, 2018
When voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, they will be asked whether government-mandated nurse staff ratios should be imposed on every hospital in the state.
While having more nurses may sound like a good idea on the surface, rigid staffing ratios will actually hurt health care by overriding the judgment and expertise of health care professionals, threatening quality and increasing the cost of care throughout the state.
BWH, along with other hospitals and health care organizations, does not support mandated staffing ratios for the following reasons:
The ballot question was proposed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), a union that represents less than 25 percent of nurses in the state. The union has tried for more than 20 years to have nurse-staffing ratios mandated, with consistent rejection from the legislature.
Although California hospitals have operated under rigid and costly ratios for more than 13 years, the care California hospitals provide is no better – and sometimes worse – than the care patients receive in Massachusetts hospitals, which have among the best quality outcomes in the nation.
The latest evidenced-based, nursing-sensitive measures reported through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare website show that Massachusetts scores the same as or higher than California hospitals in quality and patient satisfaction.
Massachusetts scores are:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital firmly believes that decisions about staffing and patient care must be made by our talented health care professionals at the bedside and in our clinics, not at the ballot box.
For more information, please visit the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety.
January 31, 2018
December 11, 2017
The Massachusetts Nurses Association’s injunction to prevent the implementation of the Brigham’s mandatory flu vaccination policy was denied in late November by a Massachusetts State Superior Court judge. Following are facts about the Brigham’s flu vaccination policy and the hospital’s position:
Although our employee flu vaccination rates were high last year, BWH still sees cases of hospital-acquired flu each year. We want to better protect our patients – especially those with compromised immune systems – against the spread of flu.
November 15, 2017
While it’s disappointing that the union is conducting an informational picket, it is their right to do so. Brigham and Women’s Hospital values our nurses and their incredible contributions to patient care, educating the next generation of nurses and other health care professionals, research and community outreach. Our perspective on the issues raised by the union is available below.
September 8, 2017
BWH is pursuing Magnet designation, which is considered the highest standard for nursing and clinical excellence. Currently, eight percent of hospitals in the U.S. have received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (a division of the American Nurses Association). We already embody the rigorous standards of Magnet hospitals, which consistently deliver the highest level of care and patient experience. We are proud of our nurses and every member of the care team and would like to be recognized among our peers for the work we do every day.
Although we had hoped to partner with the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents about 3,300 nurses at the Brigham, we do not have the union's support. The MNA chooses to oppose Magnet rather than share our goal of recognizing Brigham nurses with the gold-standard designation that Magnet represents. This devalues the work of not only our nurses, but all staff at the institution, as Magnet is an institutional recognition.
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