Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text


Amend Regulations to Conform to Chapters 454, 565, 571 and 791 ...
Stage: Final

Article 2
Patient Care Services

12VAC5-410-230. Patient care management.

A. All patients shall be under the care of a member of the medical staff.

B. Each hospital shall have a plan that includes effective mechanisms for the periodic review and revision of patient care policies and procedures.

C. Each hospital shall establish a protocol relating to the rights and responsibilities of patients based on Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' 2000 Hospital Accreditation Standards, January 2000. The protocol shall include a process reasonably designed to inform patients of their rights and responsibilities. Patients shall be given a copy of their rights and responsibilities upon admission.

D. No medication or treatment shall be given except on the signed order of a person lawfully authorized by state statutes.

1. Hospital personnel, as designated in medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, or hospital policies and procedures, may accept emergency telephone and other verbal orders for medication or treatment for hospital patients from physicians and other persons lawfully authorized by state statute to give patient orders.

2. As specified in the hospital's medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, or hospital policies and procedures, emergency telephone and other verbal orders shall be signed within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 72 hours, by the person giving the order, or, when such person is not available, cosigned by another physician or other person authorized to give the order.

E. Each hospital shall have a reliable method for identification of each patient, including newborn infants.

F. Each hospital shall include in its visitation policy a provision allowing each adult patient to receive visits from any individual from whom the patient desires to receive visits, subject to other restrictions contained in the visitation policy including, but not limited to, the patient's medical condition and the number of visitors permitted in the patient's room simultaneously.

G. Each hospital that is equipped to provide life-sustaining treatment shall develop a policy to determine the medical or ethical appropriateness of proposed medical care, which shall include:

1. A process for obtaining a second opinion regarding the medical and ethical appropriateness of proposed medical care in cases in which a physician has determined proposed care to be medically or ethically inappropriate;

2. Provisions for review of the determination that proposed medical care is medically or ethically inappropriate by an interdisciplinary medical review committee and a determination by the interdisciplinary medical review committee regarding the medical and ethical appropriateness of the proposed health care of the patient;

3. Requirements for a written explanation of the decision of the interdisciplinary medical review committee, which shall be included in the patient's medical record; and

4. Provisions to ensure the patient, the patient's agent, or the person authorized to make the patient's medical decisions in accordance with § 54.1-2986 of the Code of Virginia is informed of the patient's right to obtain the patient's medical record and the right to obtain an independent medical opinion and afforded reasonable opportunity to participate in the medical review committee meeting.

The policy shall not prevent the patient, the patient's agent, or the person authorized to make the patient's medical decisions from obtaining legal counsel to represent the patient or from seeking other legal remedies, including court review, provided that the patient, the patient's agent, person authorized to make the patient's medical decisions, or legal counsel provide written notice to the chief executive officer of the hospital within 14 days of the date of the physician's determination that proposed medical treatment is medically or ethically inappropriate as documented in the patient's medical record.


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.


12VAC5-410-450. Psychiatric service.

A. The psychiatric service shall be under the supervision of a physician, licensed by the Board of Medicine, who meets the qualifications of the medical staff bylaws.

B. Psychiatric units shall conform to the applicable licensure requirements pursuant to 12VAC35-105.

C. Every hospital that provides inpatient psychiatric services shall establish written policies for denial of admission of medically stable patients in its psychiatric unit. The policies shall include language that:

1. If a medically stable patient is referred to a hospital's psychiatric unit and denied admission, the referring physician may request direct verbal communication with the on-call physician at the referral hospital; and

2. Prohibits on-call physicians or other hospital staff from refusing a request from the referring physician for direct verbal communication.

D. Every hospital that provides inpatient psychiatric services shall establish a protocol that requires for any refusal to admit a patient for whom there is a question regarding the medical stability or medical appropriateness of admission for inpatient psychiatric services due to a situation involving results of a toxicology screening, the on-call physician in the psychiatric unit to which the patient is sought to be transferred to participate in direct verbal communication, either in person or via telephone, with a clinical toxicologist or other person who is a certified specialist in poison information employed by a poison control center that is accredited by the American Association of Poison Control Centers to review the results of the toxicology screen and determine whether a medical reason for refusing admission to the psychiatric unit related to the results of the toxicology screen exists if requested by the referring physician.