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Health Agencies Update
February 28, 2007

Patients’ Rights Affirmed

JAMA. 2007;297(8):799. doi:10.1001/jama.297.8.799-a

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued new regulations on the use of restraints and seclusion for patients in facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs (http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/06-9559.pdf).

The new regulations require more rigorous and frequent training for staff on use of restraints or seclusion. They also maintain that a patient must be evaluated within 1 hour of restraint or seclusion, but allow trained registered nurses and physician's assistants to conduct the evaluation, as well as physicians and other licensed independent practitioners. However, if a nurse or physician's assistant conducts the evaluation, a physician or licensed independent practitioner must be consulted as soon as possible.

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