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Bill Targets Improved Hospital Signage, Lighting


By Dan Hounsell Facilities Management
hospital emergency sign

Facility managers in the nation’s hospitals have their hands more than full these days coping with the often overwhelming impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations, staffing and upgrades, but challenges keep coming on all fronts, including one state that is seeking to revise hospital signage and lighting requirements in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Legislation to require the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to create regulations to improve hospital signs, lighting and surveillance has passed that state’s senate, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The bill referred to as Laura’s Law would require the department to implement regulations on emergency room signs, lighting, doorbells or panic buttons, and video surveillance monitoring of any visible hospital entrances that lock at night.

In addition, the department would be required to assemble a working group to recommend how to best implement the signs, lighting and other improvements to hospital buildings.

The bill’s namesake, Laura Levis, walked to the Somerville Hospital on Sept. 16, 2016, when she started experiencing an asthma attack and died outside a locked emergency room door. Levis walked to the emergency room early that day, found the doors locked, called 911 and died on a bench 29 feet from the main entrance.

Dan Hounsell is editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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