Texas has finally passed a bill requiring hospital ID badges so that patients can know more about who is treating them.  Click here for the text of the bill.  Helen Haskell, founder of a national patient-safety advocacy organization called Mothers Against Medical Error, called the new Texas law “the most basic level of transparency.” “It’s very important to know who’s providing your care because people have different areas of expertise, different levels of training,” she said.

Gov. Rick Perry signed the Texas hospital ID measure into law last month.

One Parkland-inspired bill failed to get legislative traction. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, proposed creating a central database to track hospital caregivers implicated in patient abuse, neglect or exploitation. She promised to reintroduce the measure in the next session.

“We need to ensure that agencies have access to all the information they need to keep patients safe,” Zaffirini said.

The most obvious question for us is, “it is now 2013, why did it take so long to require badges identifying who is doing what to you when you are a patient?” Senator Jane Nelson is understandably proud of the bill she co-sponsored.  But, she apparently doesn't think anyone will remember that she was busy taking away our legal rights in the healthcare system back in 2003 with a different bill she co-sponsored that year, HB 4 and HJR3 - which later became Chapter 74 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code and Constitutional Amendment Proposition 12.  That legislation created a system in which stay-at-home moms and children and the elderly can be needlessly abused, injured or killed in a hospital but can do almost nothing about it legally.  When challenged by the author of this blog back then why she would sponsor legislation that would result in an increase in sloppy medical care - especially in Texas Emergency Rooms - with no legal accountability she simply stated, "Look, we won, you lost.  Get over it."  Texans deserve better.  But, thank you anyway Senator.  Better late than never.  Now that is has been proven that those 2003 bills made hospitals more dangerous and did not give us a lot more doctors [click here for that study or this study] and cheap medical care [as was promised], how about giving some of those rights back to the stay-at-home moms and the children?

Just another reason to change the laws allowing hospital secrecy.  Contact your legislator today.  You can find out who represents you by clicking here.  

For more information contact The Girards Law Firm at 214-346-9529

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