- Mac's Safety Space - http://blogs.hcpro.com/hospitalsafety -

Can’t get no protection…

I’m not sure if you folks follow my HCPro colleague David LaHoda’s OSHA Healthcare Advisor e-newsletter and blog [1], but there’s an item this week that I think bears bringing to your attention [2] in case you didn’t see it.

Now I think we can all agree that there is a great deal of attention being paid (and rightly so) to issues of workplace violence and how can we be assured that we are doing all we can to protect the front line folks from assaults, etc. And I think many, if not most, of us recognize that acts of violence by patients are definitely not diminishing over time. The variables are wide-ranging—the economy, the reduction of behavioral health resources, etc.—and endlessly complex.  We must manage these variables in as proactive a manner as possible.

So, how are you folks out in the safety community addressing these types of concerns? What education are you providing and to what staff demographic groups are you targeting with that education? Are you mandating education in certain areas, or are you letting folks participate as they feel necessary? Who has a program that’s working well, and what monitoring and measures have you put in place to ensure that the program you have is getting the desired results? I think this is a dialogue that’s going to be with us for a while, so please weigh in on what you’re doing/facing/dreading.

As a final thought, back in the day before we had “standard precautions,” there was the term “universal precautions” based on the concept that you can’t tell whether a person is an infection risk just by looking at them, so you have to manage everyone as if they had the potential. Is it time for a truly “universal” approach to the potential for violence when it comes to patient management? What do you think?