Administrators at the University of Utah Hospital revealed new policies put in place regarding law enforcement interactions with medical staff after the controversial arrest of nurse Alex Wubbels.
The new policy requires officers to first make contact with the Hospital’s Customer Service Office when wishing to conduct law enforcement activity with a patient who is not in custody. Customer Service will then page the Hospital’s House Supervisor who will respond with University Police.
“If there is disagreement between the officer and the House Supervisor, both parties shall contact their respective supervisors to facilitate resolution,” the policy says.
Under circumstances where police need to collect evidence and statements from victims of violent crimes, officers will be allowed to enter the Emergency Department without notifying the supervisor.
Staff members worked with the Salt Lake Police Department and stakeholders to refine the policy.
Statement from Margaret Pearce, Chief Nursing Officer— University of Utah Health:
“When this event took place, I promised Alex I’d do everything in my power to prevent something like this from happening again. This policy is co-authored by the University and the Salt Lake Police. It represents our collaborative effort to ensure we have the best policy possible that respects the privacy of our patients and protects both our patients and staff. We work closely with law enforcement every day and we believe this policy helps us to move forward in a very positive way. We also hope it will provide a framework for other hospitals and law enforcement agencies throughout the state.”