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Michigan Passes RN Circulator Data Collection Bill

Publish Date: 7/6/2011

On June 21, 2011, Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder signed House bills 4526 and 4325, both budget bills designed to resolve the state’s current fiscal instability. Part of the appropriations language in House bill 4526 includes provisions for Michigan hospitals and freestanding outpatient surgical facilities to report whether a registered nurse, qualified by training and experience in operating room nursing, is present as a circulating nurse in each separate operating room where surgery is being performed for the duration of the operative procedure.

The bill designates the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs as the agency that will be collecting the data on whether healthcare facilities are using RNs as Circulators for every case. This state agency does not have a history of or existing infrastructure for collecting this type of data from healthcare facilities. AORN members in Michigan, including our state legislative coordinator Karen Knapp, are working diligently with the state agency to facilitate data collection from every Michigan hospital and freestanding outpatient surgical facility. While the reporting is not mandatory, AORN is optimistic that Michigan facilities will recognize the importance of this data and comply with state agency requests for information when the bill becomes effective on October 1, 2011.

Having an RN Circulator present in each separate operating room where surgery is being performed is a fundamental AORN tenet that supports patient safety and quality improvement. This type of data collection on use of RNs as Circulators will be instrumental in AORN’s ongoing efforts to make sure there is an RN Circulator in every operating room, in every state, for every procedure. Congratulations to our Michigan perioperative nurses for obtaining such a positive legislative development in their state.

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