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Patient Safety Checklists Now Law in NV

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

Checklists have been touted as a method of elevating quality of care in hospitals for years. Yet, the medical community does not fully embrace them. Even Atul Gawande, MD, who literally wrote a manifesto on the subject has said, "There's a set of values in the idea of a checklist, and they're in distinct conflict with some of the values we have in medicine."

Nevertheless, the Patient Protection Checklist bill, which requires Nevada hospitals and other medical facilities to develop state-mandated patient safety checklists, was signed into law on Wednesday.

AB 280, sponsored by Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, faced little opposition in either the Senate or Assembly and was signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Existing law requires hospital and medical facilities to adopt safety plans and establish patient safety committees to oversee anything related to the health and safety of patients. The new law takes safety a step further by requiring the patient safety committee create and adopt patient safety checklists to improve patient health outcomes.

The Patient Protection Checklist law also requires the patient safety committee to review the checklists each year, revise them if necessary, and to provide an annual report to the legislative committee on healthcare detailing how the checklists were developed and used. Administrative sanctions may be imposed if the bill is not followed.

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