AN ACT ESTABLISHING STANDARDS FOR SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY CARE IN HOSPITALS AND AMBULATORY SURGICAL FACILITIES.
Enacts GS 131E-79.3, applicable to hospitals, and GS 131E-147.2, applicable to ambulatory surgical facilities, establishing required qualifications for surgical technologists employed by hospitals or ambulatory surgical facilities (facilities). Defines surgical technology to mean surgical patient care; includes a nonexhaustive list of perioritive tasks or functions directed by the surgeon covered by the term. Bars facilities from employing or contracting for services of a surgical technologist unless the individual (1) provides evidence of successfully completing an accredited training program and holds and maintains the Certified Surgical Technologist credential issued by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or its successor, (2) provides evidence of successfully completing an appropriate training program for surgical technology in the US military or the US Public Health Service, or (3) provides documentation of employment to practice surgical technology in a licensed hospital or ambulatory surgical facility on December 31, 2019, or documentation of employment to practice surgical technology during the three years immediately preceding December 31, 2019.
Permits employment or contracting with an individual to practice surgical technology during the 12-month period immediately following successful completion of an accredited educational program, but prohibits further employment or contracting without documentation that the required credential has been obtained. Requires surgical technologists who are credentialed by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or its successor to comply with that organization's continuing education requirements, with all other surgical technologists required to complete 30 hours of relevant continuing education every two years. Requires the provision of proof of continuing education completion upon request by an employer.
Permits facilities to employ or contract with individuals who do not meet the statutes' qualifications if the facility has made a diligent and thorough effort but cannot employ or contract with sufficient qualified surgical technologists who satisfy the requirements. Requires the facilities to document and retain records regarding its efforts and ensure that any noncertified surgical technologist employed or contracted by the facility complies with the continuing education requirements of the statute.
Provides that the statute has no effect on a licensed practitioner's ability to perform tasks or functions within the scope of his or her license.
Authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to take adverse action against facilities for violation of the applicable statute. Authorizes facilities to restrict an employee's eligibility to practice surgical technology if not compliant with the respective statute's requirements.
Effective January 1, 2022.