Nantucket Cottage Hospital Opposes Ballot Question One


NANTUCKET – Nantucket Cottage Hospital is officially opposing Massachusetts Ballot question 1, the hospital said in a statement.

Question one would set limits on the number of patients nurses in hospitals can be attending to at one time.

The limits vary on the patient’s injuries as well as the unit in which the patient is admitted.

For example, the measure limits the ratio of nurse to patients under anesthesia is 1-1. In pediatric units where the patients are healthy the ratio is 1-6. In psychiatric units the ratio would be 1-5.

Hospital officials say if passed, the ballot question would increase costs at the hospital by 2.6 million dollars annually. “Ballot question 1 would impose inflexible government mandates on our hospital that would override the local decision-making of our nurse managers and physicians about how to bestcare for patients,” said Dr. Margot Hartmann, President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

“The creativity and flexibility that are necessary to run a hospital 30 miles at sea wouldbe outlawed under ballot question 1, and NCH would be forced to follow a one-size-fits-all mandate that requires small hospitals like us to staff at the same level as Boston teaching hospitals that have up to 1,000 beds and much more complex patients.”

In addition, some of the nurses at the hospital oppose the measure as well. “From my experience as an island nurse, you have to wear many hats and chip in to help your colleagues when necessary,” said Brenda Johnson, a nurse at Nantucket Cottage Hospital for more than 40 years.

“It’s that creativity and flexibility that allows us to deliver the best care for our patients. Question 1’s government-imposed mandate would force us to adopt an inflexible,one-size-fits all approach that is just wrong for Nantucket.”

The Hospital also says if imposed the measure would dramatically increase wait time for patients in the hospital’s ER Department. The ballot question is opposed by the American Nurses Association of Massachusetts, the Organization of Nurse Leaders, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, as well as more than 95 Massachusetts hospitals and 200 professional organizations, businesses, and chambers of commerce around the state.








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