Today's Law As Amended

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AB-858 Employment: health information technology: clinical practice guidelines: worker rights.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that health information technology, clinical practice guidelines, or algorithms shall not limit the effective exercise of, or be a substitute for, the professional judgment of workers providing direct patient care. This is crucial to protect millions of patients’ safety in interacting with a deeply flawed medical technological system, that among many issues, has shown their commercial algorithms exhibit significant racial bias.
(b) It is also the intent of the Legislature that new technology will continue to permit the exercise of professional clinical judgment in providing patient care and patient advocacy by workers providing direct patient care. Clinical technology is intended to complement, not diminish, skills, judgment, and decisionmaking. Professional judgment, not algorithms, shall determine the care needed by patient populations or individuals.

SEC. 2.

 Article 2.7 (commencing with Section 2820) is added to Chapter 2 of Division 3 of the Labor Code, to read:

Article  2.7. Health Information Technology: General Acute Care Hospital Worker Rights
 (a) For purposes of this article, “technology” means scientific hardware or software including algorithms derived from the use of health care-related data, used to achieve a medical or nursing care objective at a general acute care hospital, as defined in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) Notwithstanding any law, use of technology shall not limit a worker who is providing direct patient care from exercising independent clinical judgment in assessment, evaluation, planning, and implementation of care, nor from acting as a patient advocate.
(c) A worker who provides direct patient care at a general acute care hospital may override health information technology and clinical practice guidelines if, in their professional judgment, and in accordance with their scope of practice, which includes receiving the approval of the patient’s physician, or doctor of podiatric medicine, it is in the best interest of the patient to do so.
(d) A general acute care hospital shall not retaliate or otherwise discriminate against a worker providing direct patient care who requests to override, or who discusses with other employees or supervisors about overriding, health information technology and clinical practice guidelines. A worker who is subject to retaliation or discrimination by a general acute care hospital has the right under this article to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner against the general acute care hospital.
(e) A general acute care hospital shall notify all workers who provide direct patient care and, if subject to a collective bargaining agreement, their representatives prior to implementing new information technology that materially affects the job of the workers or their patients.
(f) (1) A general acute care hospital shall ensure that appropriate education or training is provided to its workers that provide direct patient care for purposes of educating or training those workers on how to utilize the new technology and to understand its limitations.
(2) The worker’s patient care assignment shall be taken into consideration when determining the appropriate method for training on new technology.
(g) (1) A general acute care hospital shall allow workers who provide direct patient care in the affected clinical areas to provide input in the implementation processes for new technology impacting patient care delivery.
(2) Representatives of a general acute care hospital’s professional practice committee may recommend measures to improve the delivery of safe, therapeutic, equitable, and effective care in conjunction with the use of new technology. Representatives of a general acute care hospital’s professional practice committee may participate, when feasible, in the implementation processes whenever new technology affecting the delivery of medical or nursing care is being considered.
(3) When sharing technology in the design, building, and validation process for new technology pursuant to this subdivision, a general acute care hospital shall protect patients’ private medical information in accordance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191), known as HIPAA, and all other applicable privacy laws.
(h) This section shall not be construed to limit a medical staff’s right to establish, in medical staff bylaws, rules, or regulations, clinical criteria and standards to oversee and manage quality assurance, utilization review, and other medical staff activities pursuant to existing law.
(i) This section is not intended to prevent hospitals from directing staff to follow nationally recognized quality improvement guidelines or standards of care, including, but not limited to, those used or endorsed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the National Quality Forum, the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or other organizations recognized or used by the federal Centers for Medicare or Medicaid Services or a department or agency of the State of California or any other commonly accepted standard or guideline for improving consumer health and patient outcomes, unless it is in the patient’s best interest to depart from these guidelines.
(j) This section does not allow the override of any physician orders.