Unresolved: Nurse Warnings of Patient Risks Get Ineffective Responses


Reports submitted by nurses portray a harrowing situation occurring too frequently in Minnesota hospitals today.  In a snapshot of 1000 reports submitted by members of the Minnesota Nurses Association over the course of six months, the statistics show that when nurses seek help under the most distressing circumstances, a solution is not met 91 percent of the time.     “We have nearly 1,000 incidents where our patients suffered and in some instances even had their lives put at risk because we don’t have a minimum standard for patient safety,” says Minnesota Nurses Association President Linda Hamilton, RN. “What’s even more disturbing is that in nearly 900 of these incidents, hospital management did not – in the professional opinion of our Registered Nurses – take adequate steps to remedy the situation. That means hospital administrators failed patients and nurses more than 90 percent of the time whenever patient safety issues were brought to their attention.”

Of those documented incidents, 54 percent put patient safety at “High” or “Extreme” risk.

Safety Risk

Patient Story

arlene townsend staffing award

Unsafe staffing costs a Florida facility $1 billion

From Trial Magazine, March 2014 issue: Trial Magazine, 3/11/14 VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. She is survived by her adult son. Townsend’s estate sued Trans Healthcare, alleging that it had understaffed the nursing home to increase profits and failed to provide adequate care, including protecting Townsend from falls, ensuring a safe environment, and documenting changes to her condition. The court entered a judgment of liability against the defendant, and the…
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