Legislation establishes clear guidelines for sensitive medical treatments
State Rep. Mary Whiteford’s plan to establish clear standards for sensitive medical procedures was approved today by the Michigan House with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Whiteford, a registered nurse from Allegan County’s Casco Township, said her plan fixes a deficiency brought to light during the House’s inquiry into the handling of the Larry Nassar sexual assault case at Michigan State University.
“We owe it to the many survivors to learn from their experiences,” Whiteford said. “We must fix the shortcomings in the system and improve patient safety so people are properly cared for when they seek the help of medical professionals.”
Whiteford said the House’s 2018 inquiry found that medical records were never kept for many of Nassar’s “treatments” and numerous records that were kept lacked any reference to the sensitive nature of the procedures. Additionally, no polices were in place to prohibit such conduct.
Whiteford’s plan would:
- Require state medical boards to establish guidelines for sensitive medical procedures, and make the information available to the public;
- Require sensitive procedures to be referenced on the patient’s medical record;
- Require all medical records that reference sensitive medical procedures to be retained for at least 15 years; and
- Require health care facilities to preserve a patient’s medical record for at least 15 years if the patient files a sexual misconduct complaint against an employee.
“These resources will help patients and their families understand whether the procedures performed on them are legitimate and completed in the proper manner,” Whiteford said. “We’re also establishing clear standards to ensure sensitive medical procedures are thoroughly documented in case clarification is needed in the future.”
House Bill 4370 now advances to the Senate for consideration.