Omitting a healthcare worker’s last name on identification badges is a step in the right direction to protect them from workplace-related violence, said state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, who has introduced a bill to that effect.
Snyder was prompted to craft this legislation after learning of incidents throughout Pennsylvania where ill-intentioned persons used a healthcare worker’s personal information – such as their first and last name or photograph – to stalk, threaten, harass, or physically harm them. Snyder said national research from the New England Journal of Medicine found nearly 75 percent of all workplace assaults occurred in health care settings, with 80 percent of emergency medical workers experiencing physical violence during their careers.
“Study after study shows workplace violence incidents are four times more likely to occur in healthcare settings than in other industries,” said Snyder. “While Pennsylvania law requires healthcare professionals to wear identification badges, removing their last name from the badges would help ensure the safety and welfare of our most needed and respected professionals.
“These men and women are on the front lines each and every day, trusted to provide quality, life-saving care in hospitals and other healthcare settings across our state. As legislators, we need to do all we can to protect them from those who might do them harm.”
House Bill 39 is currently before the House Health Committee for consideration.