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Visiting Police Agencies
Security Associated with Offender/Correctional Patients in non-TDCJ Areas
The information in this document is for use by all UTMB employees.
For the purpose of this policy, 'offender/correctional patient' implies a patient under the custody of a law enforcement agency (e.g., city or county jail) or a correctional institution (e.g, Texas Youth Commission (TYC) or Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
As a condition of providing medical services to offender and correctional patients, the University requires that the correctional institutions, law enforcement and outside agencies provide or make arrangements for security services.
For additional information please refer to the following Policies:
All non-medical information regarding offender patients is considered highly confidential and is to be released only through the Security or Custody Agency responsible for the offender. Requests for medical information shall be handled through UTMB Health Information Management (HIM).
Security Awareness Training
- security Awareness Training is required for all personnel who work in the TDCJ Hospital and is recommended for personnel who are in contact with offender patients in other UTMB buildings See flowchart at: http://intranet.utmb.edu/cms_intranet/groups/public/@public/@026pnp/documents/document/pnp_139612.pdf
- annual updates are required of all personnel who work in the TDCJ Hospital
- employees who work in the TDCJ Hospital are required to attend a classroom course for their initial training. Other personnel are encouraged to do the same. Contact TDCJ Security at extension 26119 or 26108 to obtain a class schedule
- an on-line training module is available for annual updates and for personnel who are in contact with offender patients in other UTMB buildings
University Police Responsibilities
The University Police will provide assistance to unit/area personnel and coordination with other law enforcement agencies as specified in the procedure below.
University Police will assist in the following areas:
- upon request, review the credentials (identification) of the person providing security from another agency
- contact the involved law enforcement agency if there is a question regarding security personnel
UTMB Unit/Area Responsibilities
If there is a question regarding the need for security, unit/area personnel should call the University Police. If there is a problem with the security provided, unit/area personnel should call the University Police. In addition, the Nurse Director/Nurse Administrator should be notified.
Discharge should be arranged with the law enforcement agency/institution.
Agencies bringing patients in their custody to the Emergency Department for treatment shall plan to remain with the patients and escort them away when treatment has been concluded.
If the patient's medical condition requires admittance to the hospital, the agency must provide or make arrangements for security services on a 24hour basis. Exceptions include:
- Prisoners released on their recognizance
- Most Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MHMR)patients
- Prisoners with a misdemeanor charge
- In case of MHMR patients, the security personnel should remain until the inpatient is on the unit and secure
- Additionally, special circumstances may waive the need for security (e.g., patient is comatose) upon approval of the attending physician
University Police will assist with the determination of above exceptions.
Security personnel designated to keep the patient in custody must at all times wear conspicuous identification or shield.
Security personnel will remain with the patient or, in close view of, to assure that the patient remains in custody. If the officer on duty is requested to leave the room by a health care provider, the officer will assume a position to maintain visual contact with the prisoner, but of sufficient distance to protect the prisoner's right to confidentiality.
The officer will re-enter the room of the prisoner as requested by the physician or other appropriate health care provider or on departure of the physician or health care provider.
Relief for security personnel will be provided by the agency designated to guard the patient in custody.
If the foregoing conditions are not acceptable to the agency involved, other arrangements must be made for the provision of health care services.
- employees will use Mr./Ms./Mrs. and their last name when introducing themselves to offender/correctional patients
- employees shall not leave any equipment or supplies not routinely used or medically necessary in the delivery of patient care in the room without approval from the law enforcement agency or correctional institution
- any equipment that is left in the patient's room will be checked for any missing parts (e.g., knobs, wires, etc.) prior to placing in the room, during use, and prior to leaving the room. Anything missing will be reported to the appropriate authority immediately
- at no time will an offender/correctional patient be handcuffed to a bed or other fixture and left unattended by law enforcement and correctional personnel
- metal wrist and ankle cuffs may be used to physically restrain patients for security purposes. In these circumstances, the nursing staff are required to monitor the patient's affected
- extremity for proper circulation and positioning every shift or as the condition warrants, and shall document this in the medical record
- when the use of metal wrist or ankle cuffs is prohibited by a medical condition, a physician's order and a progress note must be written in the medical record explaining the rationale for the removal. An alternative restraint may be used (e.g., if leg restraint is removed, handcuffs may be applied)
- if security personnel disagree with the physician regarding the removal of security restraints, the warden/responsible security official or designee and the appropriate unit medical director must be contacted for resolution
- in case of an emergency (e.g., fire alarm, etc.) outside law enforcement and correctional personnel shall contact the charge nurse or nurse manager for the area and follow the instructions given
- idle conversation with offender/correctional patients is prohibited. An employee's personal life shall not be discussed with, nor in the presence of, a patient
- official conversation should be conducted outside the hearing of the offender patient unless their involvement is necessary
- correctional/offender patients should not be aware of the time or location of their appointments, admissions or discharges
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