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Missouri Bill would allow Workers to Decline Restraining Violent Patients

Healthcare workers in Missouri might be shielded against violent attacks by patients by a measure that was presented last month, according to NBC station KSDK.

Healthcare institutions may not force staff members to interact physically with an individual who is acting violently “if there is a reasonable fear that such engagement may result in bodily harm” to the staff member, according to the law.

Additionally, the measure forbids healthcare facilities from making their staff members undergo certification or other training that restricts the use of physical force or restraint on aggressive patients to particular holds or postures.

State and federal legislation safeguarding healthcare workers is becoming more popular. The most recent legislation was one that Jan.

10 in Colorado would, among other things, mandate that healthcare institutions create and periodically assess a workplace violence prevention strategy.

According to the American Hospital Association, federal legislators, hospital and physician executives, and others in late January emphasized the bipartisan Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees Act at a Capitol Hill briefing.

Furthermore, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which provides federal funding to prevent burnout, suicide, and mental and behavioral health conditions among healthcare workers, was recently reauthorized by bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced by several members of Congress.

The Missouri Hospital Association’s president and CEO, Jon Doolittle, stated his concerns on the measure with KDSK in the following statement:

“It is not appropriate to use violence against a healthcare professional. Hospitals have procedures in place to both avoid and address these situations because they take them extremely seriously.

“Our patients, caregivers, and the therapeutic settings inside our organizations are all at risk from violence. There is no simple answer to the epidemic of verbal and physical abuse that takes place in hospitals and other healthcare settings, even with a plethora of strategies and specialized resources.

Hospitals use all the resources at their disposal to recognize and control risks in order to lower the possibility of violence in our facilities. Our reactions are threat-based. Certain provisions of this Act may make it more difficult for hospitals to strike a balance between their obligations to treat patients and to reduce worker danger.

However, we are always open to suggestions and discussions on how to work toward a safer environment for employees, patients, and the general public as a community of hospitals.”

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