Legislation to regulate Massachusetts hospital signs passes state Senate

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (AP) — Legislation to require the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to create regulations to improve hospital signs, lighting and surveillance has passed the state Senate.

The bill referred to as Laura’s law will 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 on Sept. 16, 2016, found the doors locked, called 911 and died on a bench 29 feet from the main entrance.

If the bill passes the House, the Department of Public Health would have to issue regulations before 2022.

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