Thursday, January 19, 2006

Union links safety, patient care

Union links safety, patient care
Hospital staffing levels blamed for injuries
Pioneer Press

Union leaders representing 14,000 health care support workers in Minnesota on Wednesday linked a high rate of workplace injuries and illnesses in hospitals to the quality of patient care.

There were 285 injuries or illnesses resulting in missed days of work for every 10,000 hospital workers in 2004. That was double the rate for private industry overall, according to the report released by the Service Employees International Union Local 113.

The union report, which cited federal injury data, didn't prove that a high injury rate causes poorer patient care. But SEIU leaders said both problems have the same root causes: inadequate levels of hospital staffing and investments in equipment and technology.

"The connection between a safe workplace and quality care is more than just common sense," said Holly Rodin, who wrote the SEIU report.


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