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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

AFL 09-49
November 19, 2009

General Acute Care Hospitals (GACH)
Acute Psychiatric Hospitals (APH)
Special Hospitals (SH)

Hospital Security Plans

AUTHORITY:  Health and Safety Code Section (HSC) 1257.7

This All Facilities Letter (AFL) is to inform you of recent changes to HSC Section 1257.7 as a result of recently chaptered legislation. The information in this AFL is a summary of a portion of Assembly Bill (AB) 1083 (Perez, Chapter 506, Statutes of 2009), relative to security and safety assessments and development of security plans.

As amended by AB 1083, HSC Section 1257.7 adds specificity to current requirements for hospitals to assess security and safety and develop associated security plans.

The law requires, after July 1, 2010, all licensed GACHs, APHs, and SHs to conduct, not less than annually, a security and safety assessment and, using the assessment, develop, and annually update based on the assessment, a security plan with measures to protect personnel, patients, and visitors from aggressive or violent behavior. The security and safety assessment must examine trends of aggressive or violent behavior at the facility. These hospitals must track incidents of aggressive or violent behavior as part of the quality assessment and improvement program and for the purposes of developing a security plan to deter and manage further aggressive or violent acts of a similar nature. The plan may include, but must not be limited to, security considerations relating to all of the following:

(1) Physical layout
(2) Staffing
(3) Security personnel availability
(4) Policy and training related to appropriate responses to violent acts
(5) Efforts to cooperate with local law enforcement regarding violent acts in the facility

In developing this plan, the hospital must consider guidelines or standards on violence in health care facilities issued by the department, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As part of the security plan, a hospital must adopt security policies including, but not limited to, personnel training policies designed to protect personnel, patients, and visitors from aggressive or violent behavior. In developing the plan and the assessment, the hospital must consult with affected employees, including the recognized collective bargaining agent or agents, if any, and members of the hospital medical staff organized pursuant to Section 2282 of the Business and Professions Code. This consultation may occur through hospital committees.

The information in this AFL is a brief summary of AB 1083. Facilities are responsible for following all applicable laws. California Department of Public Health's failure to expressly notify facilities of legislative changes does not relieve facilities of their responsibility for following all laws and regulations and for being aware of all legislative changes. Facilities should refer to the full text of AB 1083 to ensure compliance.


Original Signed by Kathleen Billingsley, R.N.

Kathleen Billingsley, R.N.
Deputy Director
Center for Health Care Quality

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