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Call for New Legislation in Colorado
March 2 10:25 AM
Evelyn McKnight

"When I learned I had hepatitis C, it hit me like a ton of bricks," said Lauren Lollini, a victim of Parker.

Lollini has made it her mission to help prevent future patients from becoming victims.

"There's a lot that can be done in regard to patient safety," she said.

Now, she has couple of lawmakers on her side.

Lollini joined Reps. Sara Gagliardi, D-Arvada, and Debbie Benefield, D-Arvada/Westminster, on the capitol steps Sunday as they introduced two new bills.

One bill would require hospitals to include employee names on incident reports that go to the state health department so those people could be red flagged.

"I think this is a huge gap that we didn't identify before, and having that name included in the incident report will really help in both the safety of the patient first and also the employer," said Benefield.

Under the proposed bill, employers would also be required to check the database of names before hiring a surgical tech, and must report disciplining and firing of a surgical tech for issues that may be a violation of the Surgical Tech Practice Act.

The other bill would require surgical technicians to register with the state.

However, the State Department of Regulatory Agencies, DORA, completed its own report last month and concluded surgical tech regulation was not the answer, saying if the threat of jail didn't deter criminal activity, neither would
the threat of losing a license.

DORA also pointed to hospitals, which are regulated, saying they have the responsibility to protect patients.

Since Parker's case, hospitals have upgraded safety measures. For example, at Rose, each operating room now has a fingerprint access, passcode-protected system for controlled medications.

On Sunday, 7NEWS asked lawmakers if the proposed legislation would be effective.

"I think it will be effective because it sends a message to that group of individuals, and also to the people of Colorado that, since this incident happened, we as a state are doing another piece of what we can do to safeguard them," said Gagliardi.

Lollini said she felt any action is better than nothing.

"I don't think this is going to solve everything, but I think this is going to be a good first step," she said.

Gagliardi and Benefield said they plan to introduce these bills in the house his week and expect them to pass easily, because they have received no oposition so far.

Six other states currently have some kind of regulation of surgical technicians, including Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

Category: HONOReform Tags: health
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