TITLE 16

Health and Safety

Regulatory Provisions Concerning Public Health

CHAPTER 10. HOSPITALS


As used in this chapter:

(1) "Government unit" means the United States, State, county, municipality or other political subdivision or any department, division, board or other agency of any of the foregoing.

(2) "Hospital" means a place devoted primarily to the maintenance and operation of facilities for the diagnosis, treatment or care for not less than 24 hours in any week of 4 or more nonrelated individuals suffering from illness, disease, injury or deformity or a place devoted primarily to providing for not less than 24 hours in any week of obstetrical or other medical or nursing care for 2 or more nonrelated individuals but does not include sanatoriums, rest homes, nursing homes or boarding homes.

(3) "Person" means person, firm, association or corporation.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1021; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 87; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the development, establishment and enforcement of standards for the construction, maintenance and operation of hospitals, which, in the light of advancing knowledge, will promote safe and adequate treatment of such individuals in hospitals.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1022; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360.;

No person or government unit, acting severally or jointly with any other person or government unit shall construct, establish, conduct or maintain a hospital in this State without a license being issued under this chapter.

16 Del. C. 1954, § 1023; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360.;

An application for license shall be made to the Department upon forms provided by it and shall contain such information as the Department may reasonably require, which may include affirmative evidence of ability to comply with such reasonable standards, rules and regulations as are lawfully prescribed under this chapter.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1024; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 88; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Upon receipt of an application for license and the application fee of $250 for hospitals with 100 beds or fewer and $375 for hospitals with more than 100 beds, the Department shall issue a license if the applicant and hospital facilities meet the requirements established under this chapter.

(b) A license, unless sooner suspended or revoked, shall be renewed annually upon filing by the licensee and payment of an annual licensure fee of $150 for hospitals with 100 beds or fewer and $250 for hospitals with more than 100 beds.

(c) A provisional or restricted license as authorized by the Department shall be issued when health requirements are not met, upon payment of a licensure fee of $150 for hospitals with 100 beds or fewer and $250 for hospitals with more than 100 beds. For each hospital which has been issued a provisional or restricted license there shall be resubmission of the application fee for reinspection prior to the issuance of an annual license.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1025; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 67 Del. Laws, c. 266, § 5; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 89; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The Department shall have the authority to deny, suspend, or revoke a license in any case where it finds that there has been a failure to comply with this chapter or the rules and regulations issued under this chapter or the Hospital Infections Disclosure Act [Chapter 10A of this title] or § 1731A of Title 24 or § 903 of this title.

(b) Before any license issued under this chapter is denied, suspended or revoked, notice shall be given in writing to the holder of the license setting forth the particular reasons for such action. Such denial, suspension or revocation shall become effective 30 days after the mailing by registered mail or personal service of the notice, unless the applicant or licensee within such 30 day period shall give written notice to the Department requesting a hearing, in which case the notice shall be deemed to be suspended. If a hearing has been requested, the applicant or licensee shall be given an opportunity for a prompt and fair hearing before the Department. At any time at or prior to the hearing, the Department may rescind the notice of denial, suspension or revocation upon being satisfied that the reasons for denial, suspension or revocation have been or will be removed. A copy of the decision of the Department setting forth the finding of facts and the particular reasons for the decision shall be sent be registered mail or served personally upon the applicant or licensee. The decision shall become final 30 days after it is so mailed or served unless the applicant or licensee within such 30 day period appeals the decision to the Superior Court in accordance with § 1014 of this title.

(c) The procedure governing hearings authorized by this section shall be in accordance with rules promulgated by said Department.

(d) A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings, and all testimony shall be reported but need not be transcribed unless the decision is appealed pursuant to § 1014 of this title. A copy or copies of the transcript may be obtained by an interested party on payment of the cost of preparing such copy or copies. Witnesses may be subpoenaed by either party and shall be allowed fees at a rate prescribed by the aforesaid rules.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1026; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, §§ 90, 91; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 122, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 320, § 7.;

The Department shall adopt, amend or repeal regulations governing the establishment and operation of hospitals. These regulations shall establish reasonable standards of equipment, capacity, sanitation and any conditions which might influence the health care received by patients or promote the purposes of this chapter.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1027; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 92; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any hospital which is in operation at the time of adoption of any applicable regulation or standard adopted under this chapter shall be given by the Department a reasonable time, not exceeding 5 years, within which to comply with such regulations and standards.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1028; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 93; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Department shall make or cause to be made such inspections and investigations as it may deem necessary.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1029; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 94; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

epealed by 68 Del. Laws, c. 79, § 1, eff. July 1, 1991;

Information received by the Department through filed reports, through inspections or as otherwise authorized under this chapter shall not be made public in such manner as to identify individuals or hospitals, except in a hearing pursuant to § 1006 of this title or when otherwise required by law or federal regulation.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1032; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 95; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Department shall prepare and publish an annual report of its activities and operations under this chapter.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1033; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 96; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any applicant or licensee who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Department as a result of the hearing provided in § 1006 of this title may, within 30 days after the mailing or service of the notice of decision as provided in said section, file a notice of appeal to the Superior Court in the office of the Prothonotary of the Superior Court of the county in which the hospital is located or to be located, and serve a copy of said notice of appeal upon the Department. The Department shall promptly certify and file with the Court a copy of the record and decision, including the transcript of the hearings on which the decision is based. Proceedings thereafter shall be governed by the Rules of the Superior Court of the State.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1034; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 97; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any person constructing, establishing, conducting, managing or operating any hospital without a license shall be fined not more than $50 for the first offense and not more than $500 for each subsequent offense and each day of a continuing violation after conviction shall be considered a separate offense.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1035; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360.;

Notwithstanding the existence or pursuit of any other remedy, the Department may, in the manner provided by law, maintain an action in the name of the State for injunction or other process against any person or governmental unit to restrain or prevent the establishment, conduct, management or operation of a hospital without a license.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1036; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 98; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Any person who has presented plans for a hospital and received approval of them by the Department prior to June 28, 1968, shall be eligible for licensing until the fifth anniversary of such effective date of this chapter.

16 Del. C. 1953, § 1037; 56 Del. Laws, c. 360; 70 Del. Laws, c. 149, § 99; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) All hospitals covered by this section shall, if possible, ascertain from a patient upon an inpatient admission whether or not the patient has a validly executed donor card, will, other document of gift, or driver's license or identification card evidencing an anatomical gift. A hospital shall ascertain this information by including an inquiry on the hospital admission form to read as follows:

"Do you have a validly executed donor card, will, other document of gift, or drivers license or identification card evidencing an anatomical gift?"

The absence of a document of anatomical gift, in and of itself, shall not create any presumption regarding the patient's wishes regarding anatomical donation.

(b) All hospitals shall maintain as a part of a patient's permanent record such pertinent information about any anatomical gift which will facilitate the carrying out of the patient's wishes in the event of the patient's death. Upon the death of a patient who has made an anatomical gift, such hospital shall make every reasonable effort to contact without delay the person, institution or organization to which such gift has been made.

63 Del. Laws, c. 238, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 453, § 1.;

(a) The Secretary of Health and Social Services shall designate as a primary stroke center any hospital which has received a Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers issued by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

(b) The Secretary shall suspend or revoke a hospital's distinction as a primary stroke center if the JCAHO suspends or revoke's a hospital's Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stoke Center.

76 Del. Laws, c. 299, § 1.;

(a) Each hospital shall include in its visitation policy a provision allowing each competent adult patient to receive visits from any individual from whom a patient desires to receive visits, subject to restrictions contained in the visitation policy related to a patient's medical condition, the number of visitors simultaneously permitted in a patient's room, and the hospital's visitation hours, as well as protective orders issued by a court.

(b) Each hospital shall honor each adult patient's desires set forth in the adult patient's power of attorney documents, advance health-care directives, and any similar documents, in accordance with and subject to provisions related to same that appear in this chapter, Chapter 25 of this title, and Chapter 49 of Title 12.

(c) The duties and rights conferred by this section are in addition to, and not in derogation of, duties and rights otherwise conferred by law, including §§ 2508 and 5161 of this title.

(d) Nothing in 77 Del. Laws, c. 49 shall preclude a hospital from restricting visitations due to attempts to interfere with patient care, the presentation of a threat to staff, patients or hospital personnel, or other actions disruptive to hospital operations.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section above, nothing in this section shall be read to overrule any decision of the Delaware Department of Correction.

77 Del. Laws, c. 49, § 1.;