Violence in healthcare facilities is a growing and an alarmingly acute problem, across the US, and, indeed, across the world.
The Problem of Workplace Violence in Hospitals
- Violent crime rate per 100 U.S. hospital beds rose 25%, from 2.0 incidents in 2012 to 2.5 incidents in 2013.
- Assault rate increased from 10.7 to 11.1 (per 100 U.S. hospital beds).
- Rate of disorderly conduct incidents jumped, from 28 per 100 hospital beds in 2012 to 39.2 (40%) in 2013.
- Healthcare workers are 16 times more likely to experience violence than other service workers.
- More than half of healthcare workers have experienced at least one incident of physical or psychological violence during their professional lifetime.
- In the US, assaults against healthcare workers account for nearly 70% of nonfatal injuries from occupational violence.
- Among healthcare workers, nurses and patient care assistants (PCAs) experience the highest rates of violence, with emergency room nurses the most endangered.
- Hospitals are magnets for conflicts: pain, stress, helplessness, difficulties in communication, chemical dependencies, different cultural norms, and many other factors – all collide, sometimes with destructive results
- Conflicts have a distinct cultural, social, and organizational background that needs to be managed through a process (no instant solutions).
- The economic aspects of conflicts in healthcare and of their mitigation are not always clear to management and staff
- Staff often knows all about setting expectations (informing patients/family of what is going on, how long it may take and why it may take that long), but they don’t know how to do it in practice
- Staff improvises with a high level of uncertainty
- The result – confusion and difficulties handling conflicts
The Consequences of Workplace Violence in Healthcare Facilities
The Impact of Workplace Violence on Employees
- Physical injury, disability, chronic pain, and muscle tension, loss of sleep, nightmares, and flashbacks, short-term and long-term emotional reactions, including anger, sadness, frustration, anxiety, irritability, apathy, self-blame, job dissatisfaction, decreased feelings of safety, and fear of future assaults, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- The consequences of workplace violence often persist long after a violent event, affecting quality of life sometimes for years after the event
The Cost for Employers
- Increased turnover, absenteeism, medical and psychological care, property damage, increased security, litigation, increased workers’ compensation, job dissatisfaction, and decreased morale.
- “Conservative estimates put the cost (of violence in healthcare facilities) at $4.3 billion annually, or about $250,000 per incident.”
- “Healthcare organizations spend nearly $5.50/ per employee on prevention of workplace violence”
- Damage to reputation
New Cal/OSHA General Industry Safety Order
The persistent increase in workplace violence incidents at health care facilities prompted a new Cal/OSHA General Industry Safety Order titled “Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care” (Standard), codified at Section 3342 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.
This new order became effective January 2017 and requires healthcare facilities to establish, implement, and maintain an effective written workplace violence prevention plan.
As a employer, you need to comply with this order; TAL Global can help you do that; furthermore, we can help you equip your staff with a new set of effective tools that may help them de-escalate conflicts and reduce the frequency and severity of workplace violence incidents.
At the end of our 1-day Workplace Violence Prevention session, participants will be able to:
- Understand the difference between incidental and targeted violence, and how they can impact healthcare settings differently
- Gain knowledge regarding security challenges in a healthcare facility setting
- Understand the components of an effective workplace violence program and how it can help increase safety and security
- Master a set of new tools called “Assertive Honoring” that will help them deal more effectively with evolving and erupting workplace conflicts.
Recently, TAL Global, in cooperation with Arent Fox LLP, a Los Angeles-based full-service law firm, TAL Global conducted a New Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Rules for Health Care Facilities webinar.
You can gain valuable additional information about the new Cal/OSHA order and how to comply with it, thereby improving your facility’s safety and security situation, by clicking on the links below:
Please contact us about your facility and the particular challenges you face.