The purpose of this position statement is to (1) make the membership aware of the Massachusetts Society for Respiratory Care (MSRC) board’s decision to support the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to Question 1 in the November, 2018 election and (2) discuss how the proposed law as it exists conflicts with the vision of the MSRC.
Over the past several months the MSRC board, composed of respiratory therapists, supervisors and directors from a wide range of healthcare organizations throughout the state, became acutely aware of the potential impact of the proposed law. The impact on the size and function of their departments and potential limitations of patient access to care.
Based on the information available, the board has voted in favor of joining the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to Question 1.
In doing so, the MSRC joins the American Nurses Association of Massachusetts, the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, the Massachusetts Emergency Nurses Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Organization for Nurse Leaders, and many other leading healthcare associations as supporters of the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety.
It is the vision of the MSRC, a chartered affiliate of the American Association for Respiratory Care, to “encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of respiratory care, and serve as an advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession and the respiratory therapist.” With this vision in mind, we would like to highlight several potential conflicts of the proposed law.
The potential limitation of patient access to care through the closure of hospital beds while organizations attempt to remain compliant with the proposed law.
The limitation of patient access to care through the potential reduction of specialty services as a means to offset costs associated with the proposed law.
The potential loss of access to the care of respiratory therapists through downsizing or elimination of respiratory therapy services as a means to offset costs associated with the proposed law.
Though proponents of the proposed law assure the public that the newly mandated ratios must be met “without diminishing the staffing levels of its health care workforce” or more plainly, without the downsizing and elimination of other services, the proposed law fails to include “respiratory therapist” by name within the list of “Health Care Workforce.”
It is with this that we ask you to please join us in our mission, and join us in support of the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to ballot Question 1.
For additional information the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety can be found at https://www.protectpatientsafety.com/supporters/