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Effective January 1, 2006 Texas hospitals, including general or special hospitals, private mental hospitals, licensed a nursing homes and others are required to adopt and implement policies to identify, assess, and develop strategies to control the risk of injury to patients and nurses associated with the lifting, transferring, repositioning or movement of patients.

The new law created by Senate Bill 1525 requires the establishment of a process that at a minimum includes:

Analysis of the risk of injury to both patients and nurses posed by the patient handling needs of the patient populations served by the hospital or nursing home and the physical environment in which patient handling and movement occurs.

Education of nurses in the identification, assessment and control of risks of injury to patients and nurses during patient handling.

Evaluation of alternative ways to reduce risks associated with patient handling, including evaluation of equipment and the environment.

Restriction, to the extent feasible, with existing equipment and aids of manual patient handling or movement of all or most of a patient's weight to emergency, life-threatening or otherwise exceptional circumstances.

Collaboration with and an annual report to the nurse staffing committee.

Procedures for nurses to refuse to perform or be involved in patient handling or movement that the nurse believes, in good faith, will expose a patient or nurse to an unacceptable risk of injury.

Submission of an annual report to the governing body or the quality assurance committee on activities related to the identification, assessment, and development of strategies to control risk of injury to patients and nurses associated with the lifting, transferring, repositioning, or movement of a patient.

In developing architectural plans for constructing or remodeling a hospital, nursing home or a unit of a hospital or nursing home in which patient handling and movement occurs, the facility must consider the feasibility of incorporating patient handling equipment in the physical space and what construction design is needed to incorporate that equipment.

For more information contact TXANS.

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