Saint Vincent Hospital is Operational, Fully Prepared and Continuing Safe Care for the Community

Mar 8, 2021

Qualified replacement nurses already at the bedside providing high quality care during the ongoing pandemic

Worcester, MA – March 8, 2021 – Saint Vincent Hospital is pleased to share with the community that the hospital is operational and appropriately staffed to continue to provide safe, high-quality care. This announcement comes after the decision by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) to go out on strike against the hospital. Effective today, Monday, March 8, the starting date of the strike, qualified replacement registered nurses are fully oriented, trained and on the units taking care of patients. They are providing needed care while the MNA is outside of the hospital, striking, in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic.

“Quality is the cornerstone of everything we do here at Saint Vincent, and our community can be assured that we have taken the appropriate steps to ensure we will be able to remain focused on providing exceptional, safe, quality care to our patients despite the strike action being taken by the MNA,” said Carolyn Jackson, Saint Vincent CEO. “While we still remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the MNA for a new contract that is fair and beneficial to both parties, we won’t let anything distract us from our primary mission of doing what is best for our patients.”

In fact, quality of care and patient safety is always a top priority at Saint Vincent Hospital. The staffing guidelines at the hospital, negotiated with the MNA in prior contracts, are better than most other hospitals in Massachusetts and have improved over time.

The hospital’s quality measurements reveal that it is highly rated as assessed by national independent third-party quality organizations, such as Leapfrog, which rated its patient safety as an “A” for multiple years. Saint Vincent consistently performs better than expected compared to the national average in multiple quality measures for hospital acquired infections and mortality rates.

US News and World Report recognized Saint Vincent Hospital in its 2020-2021 rankings as a “Best Regional Hospital,” and is ranked as the 8th best hospital in Massachusetts, which also represents a tie with Newton-Wellesley Hospital for the best community hospital in the state. In addition, many of the hospital’s services received a “high performer” recognition, which signifies that the care provided was significantly better than the national average, as measured by factors such as patient outcomes.

Saint Vincent Hospital’s record demonstrates that it is already providing high quality of care to its patients, despite the MNA’s claims of insufficient staffing. In fact, the hospital’s staffing guidelines are among the best of all hospitals in Massachusetts. The MNA has been waging a years-long campaign for statewide staffing ratios, but there is no valid research that concludes that staffing ratios improve patient outcomes. Professional medical groups, including other nursing organizations, agree that healthcare decisions are best made by healthcare professionals and nurses at the bedside, not by a union contract. Rigid staffing ratios would dramatically increase emergency room wait times, decrease access to care and delay other lifesaving services. While we continue to hope that the union will accept our generous proposal, Saint Vincent remains fully operational and safe for all members of the community.

Jackson continued, “We value our relationship with all of our employees, and we remain ready to reach an amicable agreement with the MNA. We want what is best for our nurses, not just a contract that allows the MNA to forward their own staffing ratio agenda. Regardless, we will be here to care for patients who desperately need us, and that is exactly what we will continue to do.”

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