BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 51, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by renumbering existing “§ 5162” as “§ 5163” and adding a new “§ 5162” to read as follows:
“§ 5162. Notification of critical incidents and deaths, report forms.
(a) As used in this Section:
(1) ‘Covered facility’ means a hospital or residential center as defined in § 5161 of this subchapter.
(2) ‘Critical incident’ means the occurrence, within a covered facility, of the following events:
a. attempted suicide;
b. seclusion exceeding fifteen (15) minutes;
c. physical restraint exceeding five (5) minutes or involving injury; and
d. victimization prompting solicitation of police intervention or investigation.
(3) ‘Death’ means the demise of a current patient or resident of a covered facility. ‘Death’ shall also include the demise of such a patient or resident within fourteen (14) calendar days of transfer to a medical or hospice facility.
(4) ‘Protection & Advocacy Agency’ means the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc., or successor agency designated the State protection and advocacy system pursuant to the following:
a. Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act [42 U.S.C. 10801 et seq];
b. Developmental Disabilities Assistance & Bill of Rights Act [42 U.S.C. 15001 et seq]; or
c. Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights [29 U.S.C. 794(e)].
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each covered facility shall notify the Protection & Advocacy Agency in writing or electronically within seventy-two hours of all critical incidents and, upon request, facilitate Protection & Advocacy Agency contact with the patient, resident, or authorized representative of the patient or resident.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each covered facility shall notify the Protection & Advocacy Agency within seventy-two hours of the date of any patient or resident death. Such notice shall include brief identifying information; contact information for the next of kin, administrator, or estate executor; the age of the patient or resident; the condition of the patient’s or resident’s health prior to death; and apparent cause of death.
(c) No person or covered facility shall be liable in any civil action by reason of provision of notice of a critical incident or death to the Protection & Advocacy Agency in conformity with this Section.
(d) Each covered facility shall cooperate with any assessment or investigation of a critical incident or death by the Protection & Advocacy Agency. In furtherance of this duty, no covered facility shall discharge, discriminate, or retaliate against any person who provides the Protection & Advocacy Agency with information or assistance in connection with an assessment or investigation of a critical incident or death.”.
Approved August 24, 2009