CMS reminds hospitals of obligation to protect patients, staff from workplace violence

CMS on Nov. 28 issued a memorandum reminding hospitals of their obligation under Medicare's conditions of participation to ensure patients and staff have an environment that prioritizes their safety and the effective delivery of care.

"Medicare certified hospitals have a regulatory obligation to care for patients in a safe setting," the memorandum said. "It is incumbent on the leadership at these healthcare facilities to ensure they provide adequate training, sufficient staffing levels and ongoing assessment of patients and residents for aggressive behavior and indicators to adapt care interventions and environment appropriately." 

CMS shared examples of when it has cited hospitals in the past for failure to meet these obligations, including an instance when a nurse in a unit without adequate staffing was sexually assaulted by a behavioral health patient "who was stopped only through intervention by other patients." 

View the full memorandum here

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