New York now has safe patient handling legislation
Publish Date: 4/29/2014
Late last month, the New York legislature passed Senate Bill 6914,
which enacted major components of legislation necessary to implement the state
health and mental hygiene budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. It also amended
the public health and insurance law in relation to safe patient handling.
NY SB 6914 recognizes
that it is in the public interest for health care facilities to implement safe
patient handling policies. Not only do patients benefit from improved quality
of care, caregivers benefit from the reduced risk of injuries. The bill
requires a safe patient handling workgroup which will review safe patient
handling programs and policy, identify or develop training materials for
consideration by health care facilities, and submit a report by July 1, 2015, identifying best practices, sample policies, and
tools useful for providers to meet the goals of safe patient handling policies.
The bill also requires each health care facility to
establish a safe patient handling committee before January 1, 2016 to design
and recommend a process for implementing a safe patient handling program. At
least one employee representative will be appointed on behalf of nurses. Perioperative
nurse leaders should seek an appointment on their facility’s committee to
ensure any new policies and programs account for the safe patient handling
challenges unique to the operating room.