HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

561

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to dentistry.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii has a culture of respecting medical professionals, including dentists, and many consumers are reluctant to challenge the qualifications of practitioners who hold themselves out to be licensed and duly qualified. Other times, concerns may arise once the consumer has begun receiving treatment, but the consumer may not know where to seek information on the practitioner's licensing status or how to access prior complaint history.

The legislature further finds that the administration of general anesthesia, deep sedation, or moderate (conscious) sedation during routine dental procedures is a matter that requires greater oversight. While the administration of such drugs can be done safely as part of a routine dental procedure, it is important that efforts are made to first determine whether the facilities, equipment, and staffing of the dental practice are adequate to deal with a patient who may experience medical complications during the procedure. Safety of patients is always of paramount concern, but when the patients involved are small children whose age and size render them especially vulnerable to large doses of anesthesia or sedatives, it is even more important to ensure their safety.

Additionally, the legislature finds that if certain standards had been in place, the tragic death of three-year old dental patient Finley Boyle could have been prevented. In December of 2013, Finley went to a dentist in Kailua and received the maximum dose of five different sedative drugs. Subsequently, she stopped breathing, and suffered a heart attack and brain damage. She died in hospice a few weeks later. The dentist in question lacked any formal training in administering oral sedatives to a child, but advertised her dental practice as being one "for children". Currently, the administrative rules of the board of dental examiners provide that the board may require an inspection and evaluation of the facilities, equipment, and staffing of those applying for a written authorization or permit to administer general anesthesia, deep sedation, or moderate (conscious) sedation, but the rules do not make such inspections mandatory.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Require every dental office to display and keep in a conspicuous place a notice containing contact information for the consumer resource center of the department of commerce and consumer affairs' regulated industries complaints office, so that consumers can verify that the dentist is licensed, request prior complaint history on a dentist or dental licensee, or file a complaint against a dentist or dental licensee; and

(2) Require the board of dental examiners to ensure that written authorizations or permits for the administration of general anesthesia, deep sedation, or moderate (conscious) sedation are issued only after it has been determined, after inspection and evaluation, that an applicant's facilities, equipment, and staffing are adequate to deal with a patient who may experience medical complications during a procedure.

SECTION 2. Chapter 448, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"448- Notice to consumers. Every dentist engaged in the practice of dentistry shall display and keep in a conspicuous place at the dentist's place of business a notice no smaller than eight and one-half inches by eleven inches. The notice shall explain that any person may contact the consumer resource center of the department of commerce and consumer affairs' regulated industries complaints office to verify that the dentist is licensed, request prior complaint history on a dentist, or file a complaint against a dentist. The notice shall include all available contact information for the consumer resource center, including a telephone number. The text of all information contained in the notice shall be no smaller than one-half inch high. A dentist who fails to ensure the continuous display of such a notice shall be subject to the penalties provided in this chapter.

448- Inspection of facilities. (a) Prior to issuing or renewing a written authorization or permit, for a licensed dentist to administer or to employ a qualified person to administer general anesthesia, deep sedation, or moderate (conscious) sedation, the board of dental examiners shall, in addition to other requirements established by statute or administrative rule, require an on-site inspection and evaluation to be conducted of the facilities, equipment, and personnel of the applicant. The inspection and evaluation shall be for the purposes of determining whether the applicant's facilities, equipment, and staffing are adequate to deal with a patient who may experience medical complications during the administration of general anesthesia, deep sedation, or moderate (conscious) sedation. Written authorizations and permits under this section shall be issued only to those applicants whose facilities, equipment, and staffing have been deemed adequate.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term "adequate" shall include the adoption of a "Code Blue" or other emergency plan or protocol for treating a patient who is experiencing medical complications, including but not limited to monitoring vital signs, administering antidote medications, calling 911, and initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation."

SECTION 3. No later than July 1, 2018, the board of dental examiners shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to effectuate the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Dentistry; Consumer Information; Patient Safety; "Finley's Law"

 

Description:

Requires every dentist to post, in a conspicuous place, a notice containing contact information for the Consumer Resource Center of the Regulated Industries Complaints Office. Requires the Board of Dental Examiners to ensure on-site inspections of the facilities, equipment, and staffing of all applicants seeking written authorizations or permits for the administration of general anesthesia, deep sedation, or moderate (conscious) sedation.

 

 

 

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