Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bill to defer BON disciplinary actions

According to the analysis of SB1415, "The 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, passed S.B. 993, authored by Senator Nelson and sponsored by Representative McReynolds, in order to promote a less punitive regulatory environment for nurses who have committed minor violations and to have the Texas Board of Nursing (board) focus its disciplinary efforts and resources on nurses whose continued practice poses a risk of harm to patients. This legislation is in keeping with the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine's report, To Err Is Human and Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses, which concluded that patient safety is best promoted by a regulatory environment which focuses more on system issues and less on individual blame for minor infractions.

Deferred disciplinary action is a decision made by the board to defer taking final disciplinary action against a nurse, and if the nurse meets certain conditions, dismissing the complaint. This bill would build on S.B. 993 by directing the board to determine the feasibility of conducting a pilot program to evaluate a model of deferred disciplinary action for minor violations, and if determined to be feasible, to conduct such a pilot program.

C.S.S.B. 1415 amends current law relating to certain corrective actions by the Texas Board of Nursing, including a pilot program on deferred disciplinary action, and provides corrective actions."

The bill has made it over the House's Public Health Committee. The Legislature is moving quickly on several bills and we are in the last few legs of the process. I am disappointed with several bills, but others look promising. More to come once the session is over.

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