WSR 05-23-096



[ Filed November 17, 2005, 10:35 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: Revise and update chapter 246-320 WAC, Hospital licensing regulations.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 70.41 RCW and RCW 43.70.040.

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The hospital rules have not been reviewed since 1998. Opening the rules will provide an opportunity to simplify language, utilizing plain talk principles, for increased clarity and ensuring the desired outcome while providing clear and concise information/instructions.

     The department intends to amend the rules to reflect changes required by 2005 legislation including: HB 1533, which changed the mandated hospital survey frequency from twelve months to every eighteen months; SSB 5065, which requires hospitals to maintain policies and procedures for providing notice to patients or their families of unanticipated outcomes; and SSB 5492 requiring hospitals to report, to the department, any restriction of a health care practitioner's clinical privileges.

     The department may revise existing or adopt new hospital construction requirements in-line with the "Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospital and Health Care Facilities." These construction guidelines were developed by the Facilities Guidelines Institute with assistance from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

     Additionally, the department will consider adopting the twenty-seven reportable events developed by the national quality forum. These reportable events would replace the current definition for, "adverse events." The department would collect and analyze reports for the purpose of improving health care services and public/patient safety.

     In response to a request by the Washington State Nursing Association, the department may examine current hospital staffing requirements to determine whether they need to be updated.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

     Process for Developing New Rule: Collaborative rule making.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Allen Spaulding, Rules Coordinator, Facilities and Services Licensing, 310 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501-7852, e-mail, (360) 236-2929.

November 14, 2005

Mary C. Selecky