Patient Safety Checklists Now Law in NV

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , May 26, 2011

The law does provide medical facilities with some leeway in creating the safety lists. It requires only that patient safety checklists "be appropriate for the type of treatment provided at the medical facility," and "be designed to ensure that the providers of health care follow a recognized protocol to improve the health outcomes of patients."

However, the law does have two specific requirements for checklists to:
  • Establish a protocol for identifying a patient and to making sure the patient is receiving the correct treatment, including requiring healthcare providers to positively identify a patient each time they interact with the patient.
  • Ensure that each healthcare provider adheres to the universal precautions protocol, including personal hygiene.

Despite making more work for hospital and medical facilities, AB 280 had the support of the Nevada Hospital Association. In an e-mail to HealthLeaders, an NHA representative said that the support reflected NHA's commitment to the "highest standards of care to our patients."

A representative for the SEIU, which represents healthcare and public service employees in the state, was unfamiliar with the bill.

Checklists have gained stature in the medical community not only through the work of Gawande, but also through the efforts of Peter Pronovost, MD, who developed a five-step checklist that nearly eliminated intensive care unit bloodstream infections at Johns Hopkins. Provonost has since warned of checklist overload.

Also See:

Gawande on Checklists: Why Don't Hospitals Use Them?
Peter Pronovost: Slashing Infection Rates

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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