Joe Cadillic sent along this news report on a serious real-world problem: protecting the safety of patients and hospital staff when healthcare privacy laws prohibit you from involving non-healthcare professionals.
Amy Kolb Noyes and Peter Hirschfeld of VPR report:
A shortage of mental health treatment beds in Vermont has forced hospital emergency rooms to provide unprecedented levels of psychiatric care in recent years. Many of those ERs have used sheriff’s deputies to supervise violent or disruptive patients, but officials now say that practice runs afoul of federal regulations.
Green says hospitals sometimes call in sheriff’s deputies to keep an eye on agitated patients. But according to Commissioner of Mental Health Sarah Squirrell, it’s an arrangement that could cost hospitals the federal certifications they need to stay open. That’s because federal regulations prohibit non-hospital employees from putting their hands on patients.
Read more on VPR.