Partner Mariel Smith Quoted in an Article Published by Part B News

“To avoid suit over patient violence, assess and improve security – and document it,” Part B News

In an article published by Part B News on July 19, 2021, Partner Mariel Smith is quoted discussing considerations for physician practices to limit liability related to patient violence.

Recent news that a psychiatry resident at Penn Hospital in Philadelphia is suing the facility after a patient stabbed her brought questions of physician practice liability into the spotlight. Further, the incident called into question best practices for health care providers to remain protected, both physically and legally.

“Legal action from a hospital resident attacked and injured by a patient is a reminder that health care employers have a legal duty to protect their workers. By documenting good-faith efforts to do so, clinics and other facilities can protect themselves, too,” the article states.

Smith explains that standards for protecting health care workers from violence may vary by state. For example, in Connecticut, Public Act No. 11-175 requires that “each health care employer shall establish and convene an ongoing workplace safety committee” and has specific record-keeping and law enforcement reporting requirements for all violent incidents. “If you’re in one of those states, certainly that would be step one,” Smith says. “Would the employer be able to show they implemented and followed these prevention guidelines?”

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