Don’t shoot the care provider; make hospitals safer for workers

By: September 30th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Following a wealth of discussion on the John Hopkins Hospital shooting that took place a few weeks ago, The Baltimore Sun reports that according to a federal lab report, healthcare workers are four times as likely as the average American worker to encounter violence on the job. The risk is higher for those working in psychiatric or emergency units.

The article suggests that patient safety is directly linked to staff safety, and that workplace violence in hospitals is an “epidemic” that needs to be recognized by the public and remedied. The Baltimore Sun informs that healthcare workers are not only threatened by guns being brought into the facility (much of the discussion surrounding the shooting was focused on the need for metal detectors), but that a majority of staff assault is by patients who push, punch, scratch or choke.

The article says that some measures to prevent harmful behavior and build a culture of safety could include strong violence prevention policies, pressing charges, providing adequate staffing and training, use of security guards who log visitors in and out, transparency by management, and being immediately responsive to staff concerns.

Visit The Baltimore Sun website to read more of this story.

Protect your staff and patients from violence in the emergency department. Violence in healthcare—like the recent incident at Johns Hopkins Hospital—is on the rise. Join HCPro for Violence in the ED: Proven Strategies to Keep Your Facility Safe, a 90-minute Webcast where you’ll learn a five-step approach to keeping your staff and patients safe. Our experienced speakers will also guide you through regulatory requirements related to workplace violence and provide action plans to train staff to handle unruly patients and prevent dangerous situations.


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