Director of Titus Regional’s Emergency Department, Suzanne Magee, RN, recently shared her insights on Workplace Violence in Healthcare with the Texas Hospital Association as they lobbied for
legislation that would help protect hospital employees in Texas. This article was featured in THA’s digital publication “The Scope” which focuses on THA-member hospitals/health systems and the issues they face. The Scope is THA’s No. 1 source for news, information and thought leadership related to Texas hospitals and priority issues impacting health care.
Central to THA’s safer-hospitals agenda is making sure all facilities have personnel dedicated to the cause. Senate Bill 240 by Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels) and its companion, House Bill 112 by Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) would require hospitals to maintain a workplace violence prevention committee and implement individualized training on prevention at least annually. Committees would have to develop a prevention plan and develop a comprehensive definition of workplace violence. SB 240/HB 112 would also attempt to remove any reluctance to report workplace violence, prohibiting discipline or retaliation for making a good-faith report of such an incident.
Magee believes that bill “will help define the problem,” adding that most violent incidents in emergency departments don’t get reported at all.
Soon after publication, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a THA-supported measure into law that will go a long way toward making hospitals a safer place to work.
The governor signed Senate Bill 840 by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), which enhances the penalty for assaulting a hospital worker to a third-degree felony. SB 840 applies to an assault on a worker on any piece of hospital-owned property, not just the hospital’s main campus.
Sen. West’s bill is THA’s second big win of the session related to worker safety following the passage of Senate Bill 240 by Sen. Donna Campbell, MD (R-New Braunfels) and House sponsor Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), a broad workplace violence prevention measure that Gov. Abbott signed on May 15. Both bills take effect on Sept. 1. (Heather De La Garza, J.D./Cameron Duncan, J.D.)
To read the full article on Workplace Violence, please click HERE.