Pennsylvania House Bill 1880 would remove the requirement that nurses and other medical staff must have their last name on their ID badges.

Currently, medical staff are required to have their first and last name on their identification badges. Representative Keith Gillespie (R-York), sponsor of House Bill 1880, says this gives patients the opportunity to search nurses and other medical staff online.

“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 Gillespie. “This bill would help ensure the safety and welfare of these health care practitioners by allowing them to remove this sensitive personal information.”

Under current 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.

“Though well-meaning, these requirements have enabled patients to stalk, threaten and otherwise harass health care workers both inside and outside the workplace. During my 34 years as a first responder and hospital administrator I was involved in physical confrontations on an almost daily basis. I’ve been gone from the health care arena for a number of years, and I’ve been told things have gotten much worse than they were during my tenure.” Gillespie continued. “We need to protect these providers who are on the front lines so that they can continue to practice their life-saving skills with peace of mind. As a former health care professional, I thank my colleagues for advancing this incredibly important legislation.”

The bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration.