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AARP-Backed Health Bills Address Patient Safety

Better Information about Hospitals and Clinics

If SB209 passes, Nevadans will have access to information about medical errors, or what are called “sentinel events,” that occur at hospitals and clinics who serve over 50 patients per day. Another “sentinel event” bill, SB 264, also includes the number of preventable readmissions that occur in Nevada hospitals and clinics. Currently, this information isn’t available to the public.

See Also: Medical Errors Occur 10 Times More Than Previously Thought

AARP testified in favor of SB 209 in late March and got over 30 AARP member activists to join us at the hearing. We believe the AARP red shirts made a real impression on the legislators. In April, AARP testified on SB264 and challenged our member activists to email their Senators in support. Nearly 700 wrote their State Senators. At the time of this writing both bills passed the Senate with unanimous (21-0) votes. We expect members of the State Assembly to agree.

Including Hand Washing in Suggested Public Safety Checklist AB280 is a bill that creates a public safety checklist that medical professionals must follow when dealing with patients. AARP testified for the bill, which would improve the quality of health care. After our initial testimony the bill was amended and “hand washing” was removed as one of the safety protocols. AARP submitted an amendment to put it back in. We also asked member activists whose State Senators sit on the Senate Health and Human Services committee to write in support of our amendment.

We teach our kids to wash their hands and restaurant workers are required to wash their hands. AARP stands firm on the idea that it’s not too much trouble to expect all staff at Nevada’s medical facilities and hospitals to do the same.

In January, 50+ Nevadans told us that staying healthy was a concern. In this years’ state legislative session, AARP Nevada and our member activists have worked hard to make sure the concerns of older Nevadans are addressed. Check our website for a final report on AARP’s work at the state legislature and the outcome of these bills and others in mid-June.