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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 1398

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/28/2019 05:05pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to health; establishing duties for commissioner of health and hospitals
regarding violence against health care workers in hospitals; modifying civil and
criminal penalties; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 144.566; 609.2231,
subdivision 2.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 144.566, is amended to read:


144.566 VIOLENCE AGAINST HEALTH CARE WORKERS.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

(a) The following definitions apply to this section and have
the meanings given.

(b) "Act of violence" means an act by a patient or visitor against a health care worker
that includes kicking, scratching, urinating, sexually harassing, or any act defined in sections
609.221 to 609.2241.

(c) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of health.

(d) "Health care worker" means any person, whether licensed or unlicensed, employed
by, volunteering in, or under contract with a hospital, who has direct contact with a patient
of the hospital for purposes of either medical care or emergency response to situations
potentially involving violence.

(e) "Hospital" means any facility licensed as a hospital under section 144.55.

(f) "Incident response" means the actions taken by hospital administration and health
care workers during and following an act of violence.

(g) "Interfere" means to prevent, impede, discourage, or delay a health care worker's
ability to report acts of violence, including by retaliating or threatening to retaliate against
a health care worker.

(h) "Preparedness" means the actions taken by hospital administration and health care
workers to prevent a single act of violence or acts of violence generally.

(i) "Retaliate" means to discharge, discipline, threaten, otherwise discriminate against,
or penalize a health care worker regarding the health care worker's compensation, terms,
conditions, location, or privileges of employment.

new text begin (j) "Violence prevention database" means the database created by the commissioner
under subdivision 3.
new text end

Subd. 2.

Hospital duties.

(a) All hospitals must design and implement preparedness and
incident response action plans to acts of violence by January 15, 2016, and review the plan
at least annually thereafter.

(b) A hospital shall designate a committee of representatives of health care workers
employed by the hospital, including nonmanagerial health care workers, nonclinical staff,
administrators, patient safety experts, and other appropriate personnel to develop preparedness
and incident response action plans to acts of violence. new text beginThe preparedness and incident response
action plan must include providing adequate security personnel to protect employees,
patients, and visitors. The hospital shall review any recommendations made by the
commissioner while developing the plans and, if the commissioner adopts mandatory
guidelines under subdivision 3, shall adopt plans that, at a minimum, meet the mandatory
guidelines.
new text endThe hospital shall, in consultation with the designated committee, implement
the plans under paragraph (a). Nothing in this paragraph shall require the establishment of
a separate committee solely for the purpose required by this subdivision.

(c) A hospital shall provide training to all health care workers employed or contracted
with the hospital on safety during acts of violence. Each health care worker must receive
safety training annually and upon hire. Training must, at a minimum, include:

(1) safety guidelines for response to and de-escalation of an act of violence;

(2) ways to identify potentially violent or abusive situations; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(3) the hospital's incident response reaction plan and violence prevention plandeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (4) how to access and use the violence prevention database;
new text end

new text begin (5) hospital guidelines on requesting additional staff if a potentially violent situation
arises;
new text end

new text begin (6) an explanation of a health care worker's right to contact law enforcement or the
commissioner regarding an act of violence; and
new text end

new text begin (7) an explanation that a hospital is prohibited from interfering with a health care worker's
right to contact law enforcement or the commissioner regarding an act of violence.
new text end

(d) As part of its annual review required under paragraph (a), the hospital must review
with the designated committee:

(1) the effectiveness of its preparedness and incident response action plans;

(2) the most recent gap analysis as provided by the commissioner; and

(3) the number of acts of violence that occurred in the hospital during the previous year,
including injuries sustained, if any, and the unit in which the incident occurred.

new text begin (e) A hospital shall allow health care workers to access the violence prevention database
during the health care worker's work shift. The hospital shall maintain the access and ensure
that information regarding acts of violence is being provided to the commissioner through
the violence prevention database.
new text end

new text begin (f) A hospital shall create and implement a procedure for a health care worker to officially
request of hospital supervisors or administration that additional staffing is provided. The
hospital must document all requests for additional staffing made because of a health care
worker's concern over a risk of an act of violence. If the request for additional staffing is
denied, the hospital must provide to the health care worker who made the request a written
reason for the denial, and must maintain documentation of that communication with the
documentation maintained of requests for additional staffing. A hospital shall make
documentation regarding staffing requests available to the commissioner for inspection at
the commissioner's request. The commissioner may use documentation regarding staffing
requests to inform the commissioner's determination on whether the hospital is providing
adequate staffing and security to address acts of violence, and may use documentation
regarding staffing requests if the commissioner imposes a penalty under subdivision 4.
new text end

deleted text begin (e)deleted text endnew text begin (g)new text end A hospital shall make its action plans and the information listed in paragraph (d)
new text begin publicly new text endavailable deleted text beginto local law enforcement and, if any of its workers are represented by a
collective bargaining unit, to the exclusive bargaining representatives of those collective
bargaining units.
deleted text endnew text begin by posting its most recent action plan and the results of the most recent
annual review conducted under paragraph (d) on the hospital's website. A hospital must
also annually submit to the commissioner its most recent action plan and the results of the
most recent annual review conducted under paragraph (d). The commissioner shall compile
the information into a single report and annually submit the report to the members of the
legislative committees with jurisdiction over health care.
new text end

deleted text begin (f)deleted text endnew text begin (h)new text end A hospital, including any individual, partner, association, or any person or group
of persons acting directly or indirectly in the interest of the hospital, shall not interfere with
or discourage a health care worker if the health care worker wishes to contact law
enforcement or the commissioner regarding an act of violence.

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Commissioner duties. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner shall develop a violence prevention
database that allows health care workers to input information regarding an act of violence,
including but not limited to:
new text end

new text begin (1) the date, place, and circumstances of an act of violence;
new text end

new text begin (2) details regarding the incident response to an act of violence;
new text end

new text begin (3) whether a health care worker previously requested additional staff or security for the
patient that caused the act of violence;
new text end

new text begin (4) whether law enforcement was notified; and
new text end

new text begin (5) the extent of any injury to a health care worker.
new text end

new text begin (b) The violence prevention database shall also include a mechanism for a health care
worker to report to the commissioner concerns that the health care worker has regarding:
new text end

new text begin (1) the hospital's preparedness to respond to an act of violence;
new text end

new text begin (2) the hospital's incident response to a particular act of violence; or
new text end

new text begin (3) any action the hospital took to interfere with the health care worker's attempt or act
to contact law enforcement or the commissioner after an act of violence.
new text end

new text begin (c) The commissioner shall develop recommendations regarding hospital preparedness
and incident response to acts of violence and make the recommendations available to
hospitals and health care workers. The commissioner may adopt preparedness and incident
response guidelines to acts of violence that hospitals must follow as a condition of licensure.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner shall monitor the violence prevention database to assess the
preparedness and incident response of hospital administrations and health care workers to
acts of violence. The commissioner may use the information gathered from the violence
prevention database to develop either recommendations or guidelines under paragraph (c).
As part of monitoring the database, the commissioner shall assess whether a hospital has
violated subdivision 2 and impose penalties as allowed under subdivision 4.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Penalty. new text end

deleted text begin(g)deleted text end The commissioner may impose an administrative fine of up to
deleted text begin $250deleted text endnew text begin $1,000 per daynew text end for deleted text beginfailuredeleted text endnew text begin each day a hospital failsnew text end to comply with the requirements
of deleted text beginthisdeleted text end subdivisionnew text begin 2new text end.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 609.2231, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Firefighters deleted text beginanddeleted text endnew text begin,new text end emergency medical personnelnew text begin, and hospital
personnel
new text end.

Whoever assaults any of the following persons and inflicts demonstrable bodily
harm is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two
years or to payment of a fine of not more than $4,000, or both:

(1) a member of a municipal or volunteer fire department or emergency medical services
personnel unit in the performance of the member's duties; or

(2) a physician, nurse, or other person providing health care services in a hospital
deleted text begin emergency departmentdeleted text end.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective August 1, 2019, and applies to crimes
committed on or after that date.
new text end