Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) and Potomac Valley Hospital (PVH) President & CEO Mark Boucot joined members of Congress and hospital and physician leaders from across the United States at a recent Capitol Hill briefing to advocate for the bipartisan Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act.
The SAVE Act would help protect healthcare workers from violence in the workplace, alleviate workforce challenges, and sustain quality patient care. The American Hospital Association (AHA) supported legislation that would provide federal protections from violence for healthcare workers similar to those that apply to aircraft and airport workers.
House bill sponsor representatives Larry Bucshon, M.D., R-Ind., and Madeleine Dean, D-Pa. opened the briefing. Boucot was one of three healthcare professionals serving on the AHA panel.
In his testimony, Boucot said some might think his hospitals are less prone to workplace violence because they’re located in rural areas, but that isn’t the case.
“People who work in our hospitals don’t want to dwell on the potential for violence that is there every day,” he said. “They would rather focus on the care they’re providing their patients and the challenge a particular patient’s condition may present. I think the intensity of caring for people who may be seriously ill coupled with the fact that we treat everyone who walks through the door, regardless, has created a sense of acceptance that the potential for violence is just part of the job. It really shouldn’t be that way – our healthcare workers deserve to be safe. The proposed legislation will help accomplish that.”
The AHA and American College of Emergency Physicians cohosted the briefing, which was attended by nearly 100 House and Senate staff members. The bill’s sponsors are hopeful that it will pass some time during the 2024 legislative session.