New CA Bill Requires Safe Patient Handling Policy for Hospitals

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a new bill requiring all California hospitals to have a safe patient handling policy, including "lift teams" trained to move patients using proper lift equipment, according to a California Nurses Association/National Nurses United news release.

 

CNA/NNU sponsored the bill, AB 1136. Earlier versions of the bill were vetoed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 

"With this critical law, California has taken another big step to ensure that patients and nurses are safe in hospitals," said CNA/NNU Legislative Director Bonnie Castillo, RN, in the release. "This law will prevent the most common injury for nurses and patients, falls that are the direct result of not having lift teams, policies, or equipment needed to stop accidents and reduce injuries."

 

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The Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act also protects workers from disciplinary action if safety concerns cause them to refuse to lift, reposition or transfer a patient without a lift team, according to a news release from Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, who authored the bill.

 

The bill allows hospitals to establish policies reflective of their needs and allows the training of existing staff as lift team members.

 

Related Articles on Patient Safety:

Reducing Hospital Readmissions Statewide: Q&A With Crystal Berumen of Colorado Hospital Association

Texas Hospitals Sending Nurses Back to School to Improve Patient Care

Central New York Hospitals Fight to Control C. Difficile

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