Rhode Island Hospital Violence Protection Act

Nurse with patients

If you have not heard about the Hospital Violence Protection Act, you need to make sure that you do some in-depth research. We will hit the most important points here, but you will have to make sure that you are aware of all of your new responsibilities under this law.

What Does the Hospital Violence Protection Act Say?

Rhode Island has enacted this bill because of the risks involved in medical work from disgruntled or grieving patients. One of the reasons that RI feels the legislation is so important right now is the heated divide of the COVID-19 pandemic. The act protects hospital workers from acts of violence by requiring hospitals and medical centers to perform regular security and safety inspections and reviews.

In addition to these reviews, the hospitals and medical centers will be required to set forth a procedure for reporting violations to either hospital administrators or the Department of Health. They should be able to make these reports anonymously to protect themselves as well.

When Do We Have to Complete This?

January 15, 2022, you will need to be ready for this bill to take effect. Procedures must already be in place for both parts.

What Does the Assessment Need?

When performing the assessments, the committee needs to ensure that there are specific components. The list of components can be found below.

  • à Form a committee
  • Develop a plan and program
  • Provide training
  • Keep records of assaults (on and off-premises), consequences of assaults (police reports and records, causes of assaults
  • Secure hospital addressing hospital setting, staffing plans, personnel policies, first aid procedures, reporting procedures, education and training, assault prevention programs, and training
  • Safety procedures should include general safety, escalation/ de-escalation procedures, predictive behaviors, procedures for treating combative patients, minimal restraint use, and self-defense training.

How Detailed Should Our Records Be?

Anytime one of your employees is a victim of workplace-related violence, you should gather as much information as possible. First, you want to ensure that you keep records of the type of assault and any physical injury your employee has sustained. In addition to these records, the hospital is required to record the place the assault took place, the employee’s information (including department and job title), identity/ description of the assailant, description of the behavior, types of injury, and to which body part (not just broken bones but which bone was broken and where), weapons used, any eyewitnesses, actions taken by hospital staff or security, and any other information they feel is relevant. This information should be kept for five years.

What Should We Do First?

One of the best things you can do is reach out to Hemmingway Group. We are a consultancy service, and we can help you navigate this new act. It is vital that we keep our frontline workers safe as well as healthy.  As a medical facility, you are experts on the health of your patients and employees. Likewise, we are experts in security and safety. Partner with us so that your hospital can lead the way for safe, healthy workplaces for our vital medical professionals.