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A new report calls for increased rules for healthcare staffing firms and others in the wake of the arrest of David Kwiatkowski, an allied healthcare traveler suspected of transmitting hepatitis C infections to patients.
Kwiatkowski was arrested in New Hampshire; however, he was temporarily employed from 2008 through 2010 at four hospitals in Maryland. More than 1,700 patients at the Maryland hospitals have been notified of potential exposure to hepatitis C. “To date, there have been five documented cases of hepatitis C infection among those notified; the five cases involve patients at two of the four Maryland hospitals where Mr. Kwiatkowski worked,” according to the report by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The recommendations in the report include:
- Expand existing Maryland regulations of nurse staffing agencies to include regulation of staffing agencies that place any healthcare practitioner. Legislation is now pending in Maryland to do this and includes SB 1057 and HB 1529.
- The Board of Physicians review and revise its procedures for licensing allied health professionals.
- Consideration of specific legislation related to disclosure of negative employment references and protective immunity in healthcare
- That hospitals and other healthcare facilities develop processes to prevent and respond to drug diversion, including identifying and referring individuals at risk for treatment.
To download the full report, click here.