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Good news/bad news: New law would require California hospitals to provide patient lifting equipment

There’s good news and there’s bad news. In a special edition of good news/bad news this week, we present one news item that can be viewed as good or bad. We open up the floor (comments section) for you to chime in with your thoughts.

Good or Bad? You decide:

When the California Legislature reconvened this week, they had nearly 900 bills awaiting final action. Two of these  proposals, highlighted in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, have garnered particular scrutiny. One would require hotels to use fitted sheets, and, more pertinent to Scrubs readers, another mandates California hospitals to provide either patient lifting equipment or teams of backup workers specializing in lifting patients.

While the law is obviously designed to save the health of nurses, the article reports that both these laws, among others awaiting decision, further the debate on whether California has become a “hyper-regulated ‘nanny state’.”

The sponsor of the bill quotes statistics that nearly 10,000 workers’ compensation claims were filed in California last year by nurses, with over 2,000 of those stemming from back injuries. Opponents of the law say that hospitals should have more flexibility in determining the need for lift teams or special equipment, and that adding a two-person lift to a hospital could cost around $375,000 a year.

What are your thoughts? Is this a law that would result in significantly fewer injuries to nurses, or is it justified in being paired with a hotel sheet law in a report on a state sometimes seen as having too much regulation?

Los Angeles Times



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