press release for use:
"NYS Assembly Passes Whistleblower Legislation
Bill Prohibits Retaliation When Healthcare Workers Report Unsafe Care -
Albany, NY March 6, 2002 - Legislation that would improve protections for nurses and other healthcare workers who speak up about unsafe patient care was passed today by the New York State Assembly.
The action was applauded by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), which has long advocated for whistleblower protections that are tailored to the unique needs of the healthcare environment. The measure (A9454) was sponsored by Assembly Labor Committee Chair Catherine Nolan and received unanimous support on the Assembly floor.
While the bill passed today is not as comprehensive in its protections as the measure vetoed last year by Gov. George Pataki, it is a step forward in the effort to get justice for nurses and other healthcare workers who face retaliation when they report unsafe care conditions.
"The continued pressure from the nursing community after last years veto led to the introduction of this new bill," said Tina Gerardi, NYSNA deputy executive director.
"We will maintain our efforts to remove the gag from nurses. Nurses should be able to act as patient advocates and expect that the government will support them." The bill will be forwarded to the State Senate, where an identical bill (S5813) is on the Senate calendar......."
Mar 10, '02
Food for thought:
WHISTLEBLOWING AS A FAILURE OF ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS
James J. Fletcher, PhD; Jeanne Sorrell, PhD, RN; Mary Cipriano Silva PhD, RN (Dec. 31, 1998): Whistleblowing As a Failure of Organizational Ethics
Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.
Response by John Phillips to
"Whistleblowing as a Failure of Organizational Ethics"
I wanted to note, after reading "Whistleblowing as a Failure of Organizational Ethics," that nurses and others who choose to blow the whistle do have some job protection if they file whistleblower ("qui tam") lawsuits under the False Claims Act.
Also, check out info posted by Tim GNP under thread" A quesion of MDS":
Actually, if you suspect fraud, you might want to get in touch with the OIG's office [office of the inspector general]. If you agree to help them [anonymously], if they recoup any funds they give you a cut. Visit them at: http://oig.hhs.gov/
Click on fraud prevention and detection link.
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 10, '02
Mar 12, '02
The thing about not having legislation is that when you are retaliated against, and you have to fight for your right to protect your pts, the fight can last years & be extremely expensive.
We had a situation here where a nurse manager who was told by the staff nurses on her unit that a physician ordered them to document that he gave care to a pt which he did not give (falsify the medical record). The nurse manager instructed the nurses that this was illegal & not to do it. She then went to the top administration & informed them of the incident. She blew the whistle on the physician - and was promptly fired. She found other employment elsewhere, still fought the wrongful termination in court & won reinstatement and back pay - but this court fight took 7 YEARS to finish.
Its outrageous that nurses, who are there to protect pts, have an ethical and professional responsibility to speak out for their pts but then are gagged from doing so.
If we had whistleblower protection legislation at that time, this never could have happened to her.
Last edit by -jt on Mar 12, '02