ASSEMBLY, No. 2949

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 12, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman SHEILA Y. OLIVER

District 34 (Essex and Passaic)

Assemblywoman PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblywoman SANDRA LOVE

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Giblin, Assemblywomen Angelini, Evans, Assemblymen Ramos, Schaer, Chivukula, Conners, Senators Codey and Singer

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires DHS to report physical assaults and deaths at State psychiatric hospitals on its website.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning State psychiatric hospitals and supplementing chapter 4 of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  As used in this act:

     “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Human Services.

     “Department” means the Department of Human Services.

     “Major injury” means an injury that requires treatment that can only be performed at a general or special hospital licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.), and may include admission to the hospital for additional treatment or observation.

     “Moderate injury” means an injury that requires treatment beyond basic first aid that can only be performed by a health care professional at the office of a physician, at a hospital emergency room, or by a physician at a State psychiatric hospital.

     “Physical assault” means an act upon a person that results in a major or moderate injury that occurs at a State psychiatric hospital.

     “State psychiatric hospital” means a psychiatric hospital listed in R.S.30:1-7.

     “Unexpected death” means a death that was not medically anticipated, including, but not limited to suicide, homicide or unanticipated death due to an unforeseen medical complication or other circumstance.

 

     2.  a.  The department shall establish a reporting system for compiling information about physical assaults and unexpected deaths that occur at State psychiatric hospitals, and shall summarize the information in a report which, at a minimum, shall separately identify for each State psychiatric hospital:

     (1) the number of major and moderate injuries among patients;

     (2) the number of major and moderate injuries between patients and staff members; and

     (3) the number of unexpected deaths.

     b.  The report prepared pursuant to this section shall not contain any identifying information about a patient or staff member.

     c.  The report shall be considered a public or government record under P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) or P.L.2001, c.404 (C.47:1A-5 et al.), and shall be posted on the official website of the department and updated quarterly.

 

     3.  Pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), the commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     4.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month next following the date of enactment.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to establish a reporting system and issue a report about the number of physical assaults and unexpected deaths that occur at the State psychiatric hospitals (Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, Ann Klein Forensic Center, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, Senator Garrett W. Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital, and Trenton Psychiatric Hospital).  The report would be a public record, posted on the official DHS website, and updated quarterly, but shall not contain any identifying information about patients or staff members.

     The bill defines “physical assault” as an act upon a person that results in a major or moderate injury that occurs at a State psychiatric hospital.  In addition, a “major injury” is defined as an injury that requires treatment that can only be performed at a hospital, and may include admission to the hospital for additional treatment or observation.  “Moderate injury” means an injury that requires treatment beyond basic first aid that can only be performed by a health care professional at a physician’s office, at a hospital emergency room, or by a physician at a State psychiatric hospital.

     Under the bill, the report would, at a minimum, separately identify for each State psychiatric hospital:

·        the number of major and moderate injuries among patients;

·        the number of major and moderate injuries between patients and staff members; and

·        the number of unexpected deaths.

     Lastly, the bill has a delayed effective date of the first day of the third month following the date of enactment to allow time for gathering and reporting the information on the DHS website.