Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems have systems in place to ensure that all care team members, including nurses, can speak up and report any potentially unsafe situation.
In addition, MHA encourages nurses to fulfill their statutorily mandated reporting obligations by reporting unsafe situations to the Office of Health Facilities Complaints (OHFC). State law requires nurses to report instances in which "the delegation of a nursing function ... could reasonably be expected to result in unsafe or ineffective patient care" to OHFC. Minn. Stat. sec. 148.261, subd. 1(8). Failure to fulfill these reporting obligations constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the Minnesota Board of Nursing, as well as civil penalties. See Minn. Stat. sec. 148.261, subd. 1; sec. 148.263, subd. 7.
Since 2014, the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) has urged its members to complete its online Concern for Safe Staffing Form. The union often shares these forms with legislators at the Capitol, but does not necessarily share the reports with hospital nurse leaders.
MHA previously raised concerns that these forms and the process may encourage nurses to violate their statutorily mandated reporting obligations. MHA sent letters outlining the concerns to MNA, the Minnesota Board of Nursing, the Minnesota Department of Health and key legislative leaders.