Friday, September 29, 2006

Nice Try but No Cigar

In response to the Boston Globe article about the hazards associated with overworked nurses and house officers (the subject of my posting titled It’s a Puzzlement), the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) wrote a letter to the editor that appeared on September 28, 2006.

The letter talked about how MHA had promoted research on this subject and held annual workforce summits to share findings. It referred to a statewide program called Patients First sponsored by hospital and nurse leaders that includes the “unusual commitment to end mandatory overtime.” It mentioned MHA efforts to expand the work force by encouraging the development of education programs. It affirmed its support of the Patient Safety Act – proposed legislation that would “improve the supply of nurses…, measure the quality of nursing care…., and allow hospitals to voluntarily set limits on the hours staff can work.”

Since when do hospitals need legislative permission to “voluntarily set limits on the hours staff can work?”

MHA no doubt submitted this letter in an attempt to position itself on the right side of the issue.

To which my response is – nice try, but no cigar.

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