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CMS Releases Hospital Workplace Violence Memo

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 28 released a Quality, Safety & Oversight (QSO) memo on workplace violence in hospitals.

The memo reviews regulatory obligations to care for patients in a safe environment, including the need to identify patients at risk for intentional harm to themselves or others, as well as environmental safety risks for such patients. All hospitals are expected to implement a patient risk assessment strategy and an emergency preparedness plan accounting for these hazards.

The Emergency Preparedness Conditions of Participation require hospitals to educate and train staff to identify patients at risk of harm to self or others, develop mitigation strategies, and enact policies and procedures to protect both the workforce and patients.

This memo serves as a reminder that CMS will continue to enforce these regulatory obligations and cite hospitals that fail to meet them.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Julie Kozminski is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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