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DHA Applauds House for Standing Up Against Hospital Violence 


January 21, 2020
Christina Crooks Bryan
(302) 674-2853
DHA Applauds House for Standing Up Against Hospital Violence 

House Passes HB 144 to Protect All Health Care Workers from Assault

(DOVER, DE – January 21, 2020) Today, the Delaware House of Representatives approved a bill, House Bill 144, sponsored by Representative Bill Bush, aimed at curbing violent assaults on workers at Delaware hospitals and other health care facilities. HB 144 expands the felony offense of Assault in the Second Degree to anyone that intentionally causes physical injury on any person providing health care treatment or employed by a health care provider. 

“Health care workers have dedicated their lives to caring for others, yet they are four times more likely to face serious workplace violence than in any other career,” said Wayne Smith, DHA President and CEO. “Violence against health care workers is increasing at an alarming rate, which is why HB 144 is needed now more than ever. We thank Rep. Bill Bush and members of the House for standing up against violence to health care workers -- a top concern for Delaware hospitals.” 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the rate of serious workplace violence incidents was more than four times greater in health care than in private industry and there are nearly as many serious violent injuries in health care as all the other industries combined. In addition, 75% of the nearly 25,000 workplace violence incidents reported each year occur in the health care and social services setting, according to OSHA.

Under Delaware Code, Assault in Second Degree currently applies to various professions, including physicians, nurses, but does not include numerous employees of a health system that come into contact with patients and families on a regular basis. These may include patient safety attendants, medical assistants and office staff, nursing assistants, physical therapists, public safety and security officers, respiratory therapists, EKG technicians, radiology technologists, etc. HB 144 would ensure that all health care employees have the same protection under the law.
About the Delaware Healthcare Association
The Delaware Healthcare Association (DHA) was formed in 1967 to assist Delaware hospitals in working on issues concerning health care and the hospital industry. DHA is a statewide trade and membership services organization that serves as a leader in the promotion of effective change in health services through collaboration and consensus building on health care issues at the State and Federal levels. DHA’s vision is to be the leading and respected voice for hospitals and health care delivery systems in Delaware working together to deliver compassionate, accessible, high quality, financially sustainable health care to the patients and communities they serve. DHA’s mission is to provide policy and advocacy leadership in creating an excellent environment for enabling every Delawarean to be as healthy as they can be.

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