The Pennsylvania Health Care ID Badge Law will be updated on June 1st, 2015 to require that healthcare facilities meet certain ID badge requirements.  Healthcare workers, according to the act, are “employees that deliver direct care to a consumer at a health care facility.”  Healthcare facilities are defined as hospitals, clinics, and private practices of physicians.  On June 1st, 2015, there will be updates to the act, which all healthcare facilities must comply with. The interim regulations of the act are highlighted below and can also be found on the PHCA website.

Act Requirements: The language contained in the Act is limited and provides the Department of Health with some discretion when developing the interim and final regulations.

  1. Employees must wear photo identification tags when the employee is working and contain the following:
  2. A recent photograph of the employee
  3. Employee’s name (first and last name)
  4. Employee’s title
    1. The title must be as large as possible in block type and occupy a one-half inch tall strip as close as possible to the bottom edge of the badge.
    2. The titles for a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy should be “Physician”. The title for a registered nurse should be “Registered Nurse” and the title for a licensed practical nurse should be “Licensed Practical Nurse”.
  5. Name of the employee’s health care facility or employment agency

Interim Regulation Requirements:  In addition to the provisions specified in the Act the interim regulation included the following provisions:

  1. The identification badge issued by an employment agency for an employee who is providing direct care for a health care facility must include items a through d above. In addition, the health care facility where the employee of the employment agency is working must issue the employee an identification badge that contains:
    1. The name of the health care facility
    2. The employment status of the employee at the facility
    3. The employee’s title
  2. Photographs must be updated at least every 4 years
  3. The regulation provided for the following exceptions to the requirements.
  4. Photograph Exception. An employee may be permitted to wear an ID badge without a photograph if having a photograph taken would violate the employee’s religious beliefs.
    1. Employee must sign a notarized statement and wear an identification badge containing all the remaining information, as well as the employee’s height and eye color.
  5. Clinical Feasibility. An employee is not required to wear an ID badge while delivering direct care to a resident if not clinically feasible.
  6. Employee Safety Exception. The last name of the employee may be omitted or concealed when delivering direct care to a resident who exhibits symptoms of irrationality or violence.
    1. Health care facilities must prepare written policies that indicate how they will address this exception and continue to ensure that such employees are adequately identified on their ID badge.

What’s changed exactly?  Well, while it may seem slightly murky, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has slightly altered the definition of what it means to be a healthcare worker, which is what will update on June 1st, 2015.   As mentioned above, the new definition of a healthcare worker will be defined as “an employee that delivers direct care to a consumer at or outside of the health care facility or employment agency.”  For exact wording of the law and the update that’s about to take place in less than two weeks see the 2010 Act 110.

Need some guidance?  AlphaCard is prepared to help your healthcare facility comply with the regulations of the newly updated law.  Call us now and we can walk you through our assortment of systems designed for healthcare facilities.