§16-39-2. Legislative findings and purpose.
(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) Patients receiving medical care in this state need stable and consistent care from those providing health care services at every level;

(2) Dedicated health care workers are instrumental in providing quality patient care services and ensuring that the patient's best interests are at all times protected;

(3) During the course of caring for their patients, many health care workers often observe instances of waste or wrongdoing that detrimentally affect both the patients and the health care facility;

(4) Health care workers who observe such matters are often reluctant to report the waste or wrongdoing to the administrator of the health care facility or other appropriate authority for fear of retaliatory or discriminatory treatment through termination, demotion, reduction of time, wages or benefits or other such actions; and

(5) The quality of available health care will suffer in this state if dedicated health care workers are discouraged from reporting instances of waste or wrongdoing that affect the quality of health care delivery in this state.

(b) Consequently, the Legislature intends by enacting this article to protect patients by providing protections for those health care workers with whom the patient has the most direct contact.