Connecticut Hospital Association adopts patient code of conduct

The Connecticut Hospital Association has adopted a code of conduct policy for patients and families, which will apply to 27 hospitals in the state as well as other healthcare settings.

The policy, which was announced during a press conference Oct. 20, prohibits aggressive and violent behavior against healthcare workers, including threats, abusive language, discriminatory language, sexual harassment and weapons, the Record-Journal reported. Those who violate the conduct will be asked to leave a facility, among other "potential consequences." 

"Adopting a statewide policy makes it even clearer that Connecticut hospitals are united against violence, and will not let up on their efforts to ensure the safety of every person in hospitals across the state," Jennifer Jackson, CEO of the state's hospital association, said at the press conference. 

Clinical leaders from hospitals and health systems across the state praised the effort, referencing the levels of violence they encounter at work.

"There's not a day goes by that we don't come into the emergency room and know that we are going to be facing some sort of violence, whether it be physical or whether it be verbal abuse that we take from patients," said Teresa Marx, RN, charge nurse at UConn Health. 

U.S. healthcare workers accounted for 73% of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses due to violence in 2018, the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

In response to rising threats of violence, Somerville, Mass.-based Mass General Brigham instituted a patient code of conduct to protect staff from harassment and discriminatory behavior last November. In some cases, violations may result in patients being asked to make plans for future non-emergency care elsewhere, the health system said. 

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