Legal Report: Legislation
09/25/2007 - A bill (H.R. 4157) that is designed to improve the coordination and protection of health information has been approved by the House Ways and Means Committee. It is not yet clear whether the measure will continue on to a full vote in the House of Representatives.
News & Trends: Terrorism
09/25/2007 - The fear is that the impostors are terrorists scouting hospitals for vulnerabilities, says Fred Roll, a healthcare security consultant and the president of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS).
09/24/2007 - A bill (S. 2668) introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) would require that companies incorporate RFID tagging technology, tamper-indicating technologies, and security packaging into all prescription drugs. These technologies would be used only to authenticate the integrity of the drugs and would not be used to transmit any identifying information about healthcare practitioners, consumers, or advertisers. S. 2668 has no cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Legal Report: Legislation
09/24/2007 - A bill (S. 2803) designed to improve mine safety and protect the health of mine workers has been approved by both houses of Congress and is awaiting the President’s signature. The bill would require mine operators to adopt and maintain an accident response plan for when miners are trapped. Under the bill, the plan would include redundant local communications systems, emergency air supplies, escapeways, emergency training, and wireless communication systems to allow contact between trapped miners and officials on the surface. To encourage new technology, the bill would provide grants for those developing new mine safety equipment. S. 2803 would also establish an interagency working group to share technology, research, and developments in mine safety and emergency response.
News & Trends: Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management
09/24/2007 - Every U.S. state has an agency that handles public health, but how the public health apparatus functions from state to state diverges widely. Some agencies are freestanding, others are part of a larger health and human services department. The way they deal with local health agencies varies as well: some states centralize control over local health agencies, others grant local agencies wide latitude in operations, and still other states fall somewhere in between. The services provided by these agencies are also all over the map. Does the structure matter? Not really, say researchers at the RAND Corporation who recently examined “whether there is a link between how state and local public health departments are organized and the level of their emergency preparedness.” Read the report.
News & Trends: Guards \ Security Officers
09/21/2007 - The use of stun guns by security departments of hospitals and medical centers may sound shocking, but they may be a safer alternative to physical force.
Healthcare: Access Control
09/21/2007 - Hospitals and assisted-care facilities face the growing challenge of ensuring that patients with dementia can’t wander off the property and come to harm.
Case Study: Access Control
09/20/2007 - A 24-hour health club uses antitailgating devices as a way to exorcise freeloaders.
Homeland Security: Legislation
09/20/2007 - BioShield also provided for grants to modernize existing biomedical and behavioral research facilities and construct new ones. It gave authority to the federal government to procure critical drugs using specially designated funds. In addition, BioShield amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to allow specific drugs to be introduced to the public prior to FDA approval, provided the Homeland Security Secretary determined that a national emergency merited the use of such drugs.
Legal Report: Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management
09/20/2007 - A new Missouri law (formerly H.B. 413) requires that the state set up a vaccination program for first responders who would be deployed to disaster areas as a result of bioterrorism. Participation in the program is voluntary except for those first responders identified by their employers as personnel who cannot safely perform their emergency duties without the vaccinations
SM Online: Privacy
09/20/2007 - A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that filming an emergency room patient for a television program violated privacy laws.
Homeland Security: Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management
09/19/2007 - The database is part of a larger initiative to evaluate public health preparedness and educate officials on methods for improvement. Rand has also produced studies that evaluate public health preparedness, test public health disease reporting systems, and create best practices for public health officials.
SM Online: Workplace Violence
09/18/2007 - A hospital was held liable when a nurse was assaulted by a doctor who was an independent contractor.