Reining in workplace violence in healthcare: What strategies work?
This article was originally featured in Security Magazine
Two recent news stories –– an active shooter at a Philadelphia hospital, and the distribution of panic buttons to staffers at a Missouri hospital –– make public what many people in the healthcare industry already know: workplace violence is dramatically increasing. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 70% of non-fatal workplace violence victims in 2019 worked in healthcare or social assistance. And with the onset of the pandemic, violence against healthcare workers has further increased.
Reflecting the urgent need to rein in workplace violence, the Joint Commission, a healthcare safety non-profit, released new workplace violence prevention requirements that will go into effect for accredited hospitals beginning in January 2022. These standards offer a solid roadmap to meaningful workplace violence reductions. They will require hospitals to develop a workplace violence prevention program with processes for handling workplace threats and violence; provide training to employees on how to report threats and violence; conduct an annual analysis on their workplace violence prevention program; and drastically increase their collection of physical security data, as well as their capacity to analyze it for insights they can use to improve safety at their facilities.
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