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Beth Israsel Deaconess Hospital - Plymouth


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What You Need to Know about Ballot Question #1

Support Your Community Hospital

No One Should Be Denied Timely Care

 The staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth (BID-Plymouth) is committed to providing the highest quality care to you and your family. This is why BID-Plymouth is joining with Massachusetts hospitals, nurse organizations, business and civic groups to oppose Question #1 on this November’s ballot.

Question #1 would institute inflexible, government-mandated, nurse staffing ratios at hospitals throughout the state regardless of a patient’s needs. Patient assignments at BID-Plymouth are currently determined by our experienced nurses on the floors. No two patients are alike. Age, severity of illness or injury, overall health and other medical conditions all factor into a professional nurse’s decision making when determining patient assignments. Government-mandated staffing ratios would ignore this fact.

BID-Plymouth Current Nurse Staffing Ratios & Patient Safety

  • At BID-Plymouth, we maintain flexible staffing based on individual patient care needs. And, we use benchmarked nursing care hours to ensure that high-quality care is provided to each patient in a safe manner. Over the last three years, we’ve received numerous national awards and recognition for our quality of patient care and safety.

We also staff according to benchmarks established by the following national healthcare organizations:

  • Emergency Nurses Association
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American College of Obstetricians, Gynecologists
  • Association of Women’s Health and Neonatal Nurses

Government-mandated staffing ratios do not improve patient safety.

  • At BID-Plymouth, we work together as a team with our talented nurses and physicians and have built-in staffing flexibilities that allow us to react to extreme volume changes during emergent situations. This assures that ALL patients who require attention are able to receive it in a timely manner. Government-mandated staffing ratios would delay patient care.
  • BID-Plymouth’s nurse staffing practices has helped us attain recognition as a Four Star Centers for Medicare and Medicaid hospital, a Leapfrog Top Hospital and an A-Rated hospital for patient safety and quality. This is a direct result of how everyone at BID-Plymouth works together as a team. Government-mandated staffing rations will restrict our ability to provide the best possible care for our patients.



How will Question #1 impact patient care?

  • Patient assignment decisions would be based on a government mandate not made by our experienced, professional nurses on the floors who know their patients best;
  • Emergency Department wait times will increase, and it could become much more difficult to admit patients to the hospital from the ED in a timely fashion;
  • Elective surgeries could be subject to cancellation due to a lack of nurses;
  • A recent study by Massachusetts Healthy Policy Commission concluded that Ballot Question #1 will add an estimated $950 million annually in additional costs to the state’s hospitals. These are costs that would ultimately be paid for by you.
  • Ballot Question #1 will result in an estimated statewide shortage of more than 5,000 nurses. Community health centers, visiting nurse agencies, nursing homes, hospices, behavioral health facilities and community hospitals, like BID-Plymouth, would all be greatly harmed as community nurses may decide to work in larger hospitals that can afford to pay more.
  • Hospitals statewide, including BID-Plymouth, will be forced to make very difficult decisions about services they could continue to offer the community due to the cost of government-mandated nurse staffing ratios and lack of nurses. Hospitals could have to reduce staffed beds, and some hospitals could even be forced to close.

California is the only state with mandated nurse staffing ratios. Fourteen years after implementation, not one study has conclusively shown that ratios have improved care there. In fact, the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that in hospital quality and patient satisfaction, Massachusetts hospitals scores are the same or higher than those of California hospitals.



Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth opposes Question #1 because we are already providing exceptional care with our own nurse staffing ratios and we’ve received national recognition for the care we provide to you, your family, and the community.

Learn more by visiting

275 Sandwich Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 746-2000

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