House passes health care ID badge bill

Bill looks to shine a light on nurse staffing problems in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A bill that looks to protect health care workers’ identities passed unanimously Thursday in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The bill would remove the requirement of having last names on employees’ identification badges.

Health care workers can often face privacy issues and threats to their wellbeing by having their full names on ID badges. Today, a quick Google search of someone’s full name can yield almost an entire outline of a person’s life and history, including their families.

“This personal information displayed on an identification badge can easily assist an ill-intentioned person in committing physical assault or threatening behavior toward a health care employee,” said Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York). “This bill would help ensure the safety and welfare of these health care practitioners by allowing them to remove this sensitive personal information.”

Under state law, health care practitioners are required to have both their first and last names displayed on their identification badges. In recent years, incidents of serious workplace violence were, on average, four times more likely in health care settings than in private industry.

UPMC has already taken a step towards protecting employees by making first names visible but last names smaller on ID badges.

The bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration.

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