The American Hospital Association and the American College of Emergency Surgeons urged Congress to approve legislation that would provide federal protections from violence for healthcare workers.
The AHA and American College of Emergency Physicians co-hosted the Jan. 30 briefing, which was attended by nearly 100 House and Senate staff, according to an AHA news release.
The bipartisan Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act, sponsored by Reps. Larry Bucshon, MD, and Madeleine Dean, would provide protections to healthcare workers that are similar to those extended to aircraft and airport workers.
"We know for sure that workforce safety is linked to patient safety, and therefore in order to ensure that we're able to provide patients with the care that they need, we have to get them some help," Aisha Terry, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said at the briefing.
The AHA and other hospital organizations recently sent letters to the House and Senate highlighting the need for the legislation, which includes implementing training programs at hospitals teaching workers how to respond to mental health crises, the creation of safe rooms and other violence prevention measures.