A Comprehensive Approach to Implementation and Achieving Safe, Reliable and Effective Care
Washington’s legislature enacted new legislation in 2017 and 2019 impacting hospital nurse staffing and staffing for certain technicians and technologists. House Bill 1155 – enacted in 2019 – makes changes to meal and rest break requirements and the use of overtime and on-call. House Bill 1714 – enacted in 2017 – added new requirements for the development and reporting of nurse staffing plans.
New Hospital Staffing Law – Uninterrupted Breaks, Overtime and On-Call, Enacted in 2019
The Health Care Employees – Meal and Rest Breaks and Mandatory Overtime Act of 2019 (HB 1155) requires uninterrupted breaks for nurses and certain technologists and technicians and makes changes to mandatory overtime and mandatory on-call laws.
See WSHA’s bulletin and the full text of the final legislation for more specific information on the new requirements, their scope and applicability, and implementation dates. Depending on your facility, requirements go in effect as early as January 1, 2020.
Hospital Nurse Staffing Committee Law Changes, Enacted 2017
While hospital nurse staffing committees have been required by state law since 2008, the Patient Safety Act of 2017 (HB 1714) added new provisions in the development of a nurse staffing plan while establishing a formal complaint process. Annually, hospitals must submit plans to the Department of Health (DOH) and provide updates to DOH if the plan changes.
Significant portions of the new law took effect on Jan. 1, 2019. See WSHA’s bulletin, Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 70.41.410 or the full text of the final legislation for more specific information on the new requirements and their scope and applicability.