Connecticut Hospital Association Establishes Patient and Visitor Code of Conduct

Connecticut Hospital Association Establishes Patient and Visitor Code of Conduct

There was another tragic mass shooting last week. This time it was in the small town of Lewiston, Maine. Words cannot express how truly sad it was. The occurrence of mass killings in America is just relentless.

The violence seen in our society has increasingly encroached into the hospital workplace. This violence can be verbal, it can be physical, it can be aggressive, and it can be deadly. The escalation and the prevalence of violence in hospitals have had a major impact on employees, patients, and families.

In response, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) issued a “Patient and Family Code of Conduct” on Oct. 20.

Let me just quote from the document: 

“Exceptional patient care requires a safe, supportive, inclusive, equitable, and respectful environment that involves a commitment by patients, hospital staff, families, and visitors to maintain such an environment. Behavior that interferes with the delivery of healthcare or creates an unsafe and disrespectful environment is unacceptable.”

The code identifies aggressive behavior, threats, abusive and discriminatory language, and sexual harassment as examples of unacceptable behavior. Further, possession of weapons of “any kind” will constitute a violation of this policy.

Individuals violating this policy can be asked to leave the facility and may be refused non-emergency services in the future.

The Connecticut Hospital Association’s policy is the first of its kind to address violence against healthcare workers at all state hospitals. The CHA’s action may set an example for other states.

We have all read about the increasing number of alarming incidents over the past few years. 

This past June, a nurse in neighboring Massachusetts was slashed in the throat by a patient when she leaned over to adjust the patient’s oxygen tube.

In August, a visitor shot and killed a hospital security guard when he was trying to escort a man out of the Portland, Oregon hospital’s maternity ward.

But it’s not just these tragic and sensational stories that represent the full picture of violence against hospital workers. Nurses, doctors, and other hospital workers are often punched, slapped, kicked, screamed at, and threatened while on the job. These incidents are seldom reported and rarely make it into the local news.

In hospital emergency departments, these incidents often occur because patients and families do not understand the concept of triaged care – where those who are most in need are treated first. People are most accustomed to a first-come, first-served process. Clinicians know that this does not work in an emergency department, and you would think that more would understand that. I guess that for many, my emergency is the most important emergency.

An emergency room nurse at UConn Health reported that she recently had a full urine bottle thrown at her by a patient because she had spent time in the adjacent care station, treating a critical patient. In a suburban New York hospital where I recently worked, we had a father of a little girl brandish a handgun in the emergency department waiting room because he felt that his daughter was not being seen quickly enough.

According to the CHA announcement, at least five healthcare workers are assaulted daily in the state’s hospitals. It is notable that, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American healthcare workers now suffer more nonfatal injuries from workplace violence than workers in any other profession, including law enforcement.

Not only does violence in hospitals create a dangerous environment for hospital employees and patients, at a time when nurses and doctors are feeling burned out and leaving the field for less stressful positions, the headlines and the frequent incidents of violence in our hospitals are only making staffing problems worse.

The announcement of the Patient and Visitor Code of Conduct by the Connecticut Hospital Association will help publicize the issue of violence in hospitals and may take some public-relations pressure off individual hospitals in the state.  Everyone who works in a hospital, or knows someone who works in a hospital, should welcome what is hopefully a trendsetting policy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Dennis Jones

Dennis Jones is the senior director of revenue cycle at Jefferson Health. He is an experienced healthcare leader with broad and detailed knowledge of the revenue Cycle, compliance issues, denials management, process and workflow, and uncompensated care. Well known in the northeast region for his active leadership and diversified areas of expertise, Dennis is a past-president of the New Jersey Chapter of AAHAM and has held senior management positions in reimbursement consultant and provider organizations. While Dennis is recognized as a leading expert in Revenue Cycle process and technology, his expertise covers a wide variety of topics including RAC issues, managed care, uncompensated care, Medicare and Medicaid compliance, HIPAA, and process improvement. As a result, he has presented on topical healthcare issues for a variety of organizations including Deutsche Bank, The National RAC Summit, The World Research Group, The New Jersey Hospital Association and various state chapters of HFMA, AAHAM, and AHIMA. Dennis has been a frequent contributor to RACmonitor. Dennis is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in health planning and administration.

Related Stories

Remain Compliant – and Take the Money

Remain Compliant – and Take the Money

Our first topic today is local coverage determinations (LCDs) and variation. I have written in the past about national and local coverage determinations, and I

Read More

Leave a Reply

Please log in to your account to comment on this article.

Featured Webcasts

Leveraging the CERT: A New Coding and Billing Risk Assessment Plan

Leveraging the CERT: A New Coding and Billing Risk Assessment Plan

Frank Cohen shows you how to leverage the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program (CERT) to create your own internal coding and billing risk assessment plan, including granular identification of risk areas and prioritizing audit tasks and functions resulting in decreased claim submission errors, reduced risk of audit-related damages, and a smoother, more efficient reimbursement process from Medicare.

April 9, 2024
2024 Observation Services Billing: How to Get It Right

2024 Observation Services Billing: How to Get It Right

Dr. Ronald Hirsch presents an essential “A to Z” review of Observation, including proper use for Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and commercial payers. He addresses the correct use of Observation in medical patients and surgical patients, and how to deal with the billing of unnecessary Observation services, professional fee billing, and more.

March 21, 2024
Top-10 Compliance Risk Areas for Hospitals & Physicians in 2024: Get Ahead of Federal Audit Targets

Top-10 Compliance Risk Areas for Hospitals & Physicians in 2024: Get Ahead of Federal Audit Targets

Explore the top-10 federal audit targets for 2024 in our webcast, “Top-10 Compliance Risk Areas for Hospitals & Physicians in 2024: Get Ahead of Federal Audit Targets,” featuring Certified Compliance Officer Michael G. Calahan, PA, MBA. Gain insights and best practices to proactively address risks, enhance compliance, and ensure financial well-being for your healthcare facility or practice. Join us for a comprehensive guide to successfully navigating the federal audit landscape.

February 22, 2024
Mastering Healthcare Refunds: Navigating Compliance with Confidence

Mastering Healthcare Refunds: Navigating Compliance with Confidence

Join healthcare attorney David Glaser, as he debunks refund myths, clarifies compliance essentials, and empowers healthcare professionals to safeguard facility finances. Uncover the secrets behind when to refund and why it matters. Don’t miss this crucial insight into strategic refund management.

February 29, 2024
2024 SDoH Update: Navigating Coding and Screening Assessment

2024 SDoH Update: Navigating Coding and Screening Assessment

Happy World Health Day! Our exclusive webcast is just $99 for a limited time! Use code WorldHealth24 at checkout before April 12th to claim this discount.

Dive deep into the world of Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) coding with our comprehensive webcast. Explore the latest OPPS codes for 2024, understand SDoH assessments, and discover effective strategies for integrating coding seamlessly into healthcare practices. Gain invaluable insights and practical knowledge to navigate the complexities of SDoH coding confidently. Join us to unlock the potential of coding in promoting holistic patient care.

May 22, 2024
2024 ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding Clinic Update Webcast Series

2024 ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding Clinic Update Webcast Series

HIM coding expert, Kay Piper, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, reviews the guidance and updates coders and CDIs on important information in each of the AHA’s 2024 ICD-10-CM/PCS Quarterly Coding Clinics in easy-to-access on-demand webcasts, available shortly after each official publication.

April 15, 2024

Trending News

Happy National Doctor’s Day! Learn how to get a complimentary webcast on ‘Decoding Social Admissions’ as a token of our heartfelt appreciation! Click here to learn more →

Happy World Health Day! Our exclusive webcast, ‘2024 SDoH Update: Navigating Coding and Screening Assessment,’  is just $99 for a limited time! Use code WorldHealth24 at checkout.

SPRING INTO SAVINGS! Get 21% OFF during our exclusive two-day sale starting 3/21/2024. Use SPRING24 at checkout to claim this offer. Click here to learn more →