Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 410. Regulations for the Licensure of Hospitals in Virginia

12VAC5-410-280. Emergency service.

A. Hospitals with an emergency department/service shall have 24-hour staff coverage and shall have at least one physician on call at all times. Hospitals without emergency service shall have written policies governing the handling of emergencies.

B. No less than one registered nurse shall be assigned to the emergency service on each shift. Such assignment need not be exclusive of other duties, but must have priority over all other assignments.

C. Those hospitals that provide ambulance services shall comply with Article 2.1 (§ 32.1-111.1 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 32.1 of the Code of Virginia and 12VAC5-31.

D. The hospital shall provide equipment, drugs, supplies, and ancillary services commensurate with the scope of anticipated needs, including radiology and laboratory services and facilities for handling and administering of blood and blood products. Emergency drugs and equipment shall remain accessible in the emergency department at all times.

E. Current roster of medical staff members on emergency call, including alternates and medical specialists or consultants shall be posted in the emergency department.

F. Hospitals shall make special training available, as required, for emergency department personnel.

G. Toxicology reference material and poison antidote information shall be available along with telephone numbers of the nearest poison control centers.

H. Each emergency department shall post notice of the existence of a human trafficking hotline to alert possible witnesses or victims of human trafficking to the availability of a means to gain assistance or report crimes. This notice shall be in a place readily visible and accessible to the public, such as the patient admitting area or public or patient restrooms. The notice shall meet the requirements of § 40.1-11.3 C of the Code of Virginia.

I. Every hospital with an emergency department shall establish protocols to ensure that security personnel of the emergency department receive training appropriate to the populations served by the emergency department. This training may include training based on a trauma-informed approach in identifying and safely addressing situations involving patients or other persons who pose a risk of harm to themselves or others due to mental illness or substance abuse or who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

J. Each hospital with an emergency department shall establish a protocol for treatment of individuals experiencing a substance use-related emergency to include the completion of appropriate assessments or screenings to identify medical interventions necessary for the treatment of the individual in the emergency department. The protocol may also include a process for patients who are discharged directly from the emergency department for the recommendation of follow-up care following discharge for any identified substance use disorder, depression, or mental health disorder, as appropriate, that may include:

1. Instructions for distribution of naloxone;

2. Referrals to peer recovery specialists and community-based providers of behavioral health services; or

3. Referrals for pharmacotherapy for treatment of drug or alcohol dependence or mental health diagnoses.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-127 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-33-500 § 2.12, eff. July 28, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 8, eff. April 1, 1995; Volume 22, Issue 8, eff. January 25, 2006; Volume 35, Issue 4, eff. November 14, 2018; Volume 36, Issue 23, eff. August 6, 2020.

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