Representative Tom Campbell
Photo from Representative Campbell’s official website
“Washington hospitals will be required to screen vulnerable patients for a potentially deadly germ called MRSA under proposed legislation spurred by a Seattle Times investigation.”
“Hospitals would also have to isolate infected patients in private rooms. And for the first time since 2004, hospitals would be subject to surprise inspections by the state Department of Health.
These measures, if passed, would establish Washington as one of five states that have taken extraordinary steps to mandate how medical centers battle germs and protect patients.
‘If hospitals won’t take meaningful steps to stop drug-resistant infections then we’ll pass legislation to make sure they do,’ said Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Roy, who is sponsoring the measures.
At least a dozen more states are debating similar legislation that would mandate some form of screening.
MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is spread by touch or contact and can slip through small breaks in the skin. Most infections occur on the skin and are easily treated, but the germ can be fatal if it gets into the blood.
Six out of seven people infected with invasive MRSA contract it from a health-care facility, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Campbell said the patient-safety initiatives were in response to last month’s Seattle Times series “Culture of Resistance,” which detailed how MRSA infection rates have soared as hospitals often ignored steps to control the threat.
In the first comprehensive tracking of the germ, The Times found that the number of hospitalized Washington patients infected with MRSA escalated over the past decade from 141 a year to 4,723…
Campbell also seeks to reinstate surprise inspections to more accurately gauge hospital infection-control programs. At the request of hospital officials, Washington legislators in 2004 voted unanimously to require a four-week notice by state health inspectors even the exact hour of arrival…
Before drafting the bill, Campbell said he consulted with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumers Union, a nonprofit group that has helped introduce MRSA screening legislation in other states.
Campbell, a chiropractor, is a member of the legislature’s Health & Wellness Committee. Last year, he successfully spearheaded the state’s first law that requires hospitals to publicly disclose certain infection rates, and he’s sponsored numerous laws that have strengthened oversight and licensing of health-care professionals.
Officials at the Washington State Hospital Association, a lobbying group for most of the state’s hospitals, said they are reviewing Campbell’s proposals and will take a formal position once the legislative session begins on Jan. 12.
Overall, the association supports a uniform strategy to screen patients for MRSA and does not oppose surprise inspections, said spokeswoman Cassie Sauer,” quoting the Seattle Times.
And, this ridiculous comment about Rep. Tom Campbell of Roy having his name missing from a list of leading Republicans.
“After all, he’s the chairman of the Environmental Health Committee. Doesn’t that make him its “leading” Republican? Lisa Fenton, the caucus’ communications director, [was asked] why being chairman doesn’t qualify Campbell as being the “leading” Republican on the committee.
Here’s her reply:
Rep. Campbell was appointed to serve as the chairman of the committee by Speaker Chopp. Rep. Shea has been appointed to serve as the lead for the Republican caucus by our leadership. While it is true that Rep. Campbell is technically a Republican, he serves more as an independent member of the Legislature. He doesnt caucus with either the Democrats or Republicans,” quoting the Tacoma News Tribune blog.
My, oh my, what kind of absurd rationale is that?
THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG CONGRATULATES REP. CAMPBELL IN HIS PERSISTENCE IN KEEPING THE HOSPITAL INFECTIONS ISSUE IN THE HEADLINES AND ACTUALLY GETTING LEGISLATION MOVING! TOM, DOESN’T MATTER THE PARTY’S ACKNOWLEDGMENT OR NOT – YOUR FINE WORK FOR WASHINGTONIANS SPEAKS FOR ITSELF AND STANDS ON ITS OWN MERITS…