December 22, 2010 | | Comments 2
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Do you feel safe in your healthcare facility?

The September shooting at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore left some healthcare workers pondering the same question: Are healthcare facilities a safe place to work?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ran a blog post about which healthcare workers are most likely to be assaulted. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study and after looking at government statistics, found that the rate of assaults in healthcare facilities is fairly high. Nursing home staff, ICUs, emergency departments, and psych units are amongst the higher risk of assault, the WSJ reported.

Why is the assault rate so high? The study found a few different factors. Physicians are not respected as much, the healthcare industry is more seen as a business, and patients are not always happy with the healthcare system, reported the WSJ.

Is this a trend you are noticing and planning for, or do you think the study focuses too much on big cities? Do you feel safe in your facility? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Filed Under: Environment of care

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Erica Jordan About the Author: Erica is an Editorial Assistant and manages Infection Control Weekly Monitor and Hospital Safety Connection. She also blogs weekly for Stressed Out Nurses and Patient Safety.

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  1. Actually, no, I don’t feel safe in my facility. I am in a surgery center affiliated with a major medical center in NJ, but the way the front of the center is set up the business office is off to the side and the back with no direct visualization of the front doors. My office, in particular, is at the furthest point from the front door. Many evenings I am here alone and look up to find someone who is lost looking for another department in the building. Our facility is in an urban area with a moderate crime rate. Despite major security presence in the main hospital, our building is considered “off site” and does not have security presence. I have no cameras, no buzzer locks and no panic buttons. What I do have, however, is a container of mace for self protection.

  2. Ours is- it is a large Denver metro area facility that serves the indigent population which includes our gangs and addicts. We have an ED locked down 24/7 with metal detectors at the patient and staff entrances. We are encoruaged to report loiterers and most of our security carries a weapon- they will respond quickly to reports of anything that looks unusual. Our main entrance is locked down from 8 PM till 5:30 AM and from 5:30 AM till 6:30 AM there is an armed security guard at this entrance so you need to show an ID or they call to see if visitors can indeed come up to a floor. Many areas are accessed only with a card and video surveillance is in place at all entrances to the facility. Clinics, offices have a security guard in the lobby during business hours and requires special access after hours. I feel safer there than at a shopping center or in a mall parking lot. The hospital in NJ needs to get with the program!!!!!

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