Should ASCs be required to report COVID-19 diagnoses among staff? It's a 'conversation worth having,' physician senator says

Angie Stewart - Print  |

There could be value in requiring healthcare facilities to report how many of their employees have tested positive for COVID-19, Tennessee Sen. Steve Dickerson, MD, R-Nashville, told the Tennessean.

Dr. Dickerson, who practices anesthesia at an outpatient surgery center, said the idea of required reporting is "a conversation worth having." He estimated that all healthcare facilities will soon have at least one staff member exposed to the new coronavirus — if they don't already.

The Tennessean didn't find clear state requirements for COVID-19 reporting by healthcare facilities, but Nashville-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Rogersville-based Hawkins County Memorial Hospital and other Tennessee organizations are already disclosing that information.

The Tennessee Department of Health, on the other hand, won't share a list of facilities where staff have tested positive for COVID-19, citing patient privacy concerns.

Public reports of COVID-19 diagnoses among healthcare employees could encourage people to abide by public health guidelines, which would ultimately help protect providers, according to Sen. Richard Briggs, MD, R-Knoxville.

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