A recent article in Security Magazine, titled “Patients Are People First”, starts with a grim statement: “Healthcare is one of the most violent professions in the private sector—the number of violent events in the healthcare workplace is on par with law enforcement and corrections.” The numbers bear that statement: Whereas “in 2015, all private sector industries experienced workplace violence at a rate of 1.7 incidents per 10,000 full time workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those numbers jumped to an alarming rate in the healthcare industry— 8.7 per 10,000 full-time workers.”
According to Ryan Weber, the article’s writer, one of the causes of this spike in violence at healthcare facilities is the shift towards a focus on patient satisfaction, and the view of patients as customers, leading to a situation where: “… caretakers often forgo their own safety to produce results, creating a more unsafe work environment and potentially providing a lower level of care.”
An unsafe work environment doesn’t just affect employees. Hospital surveys show that when patients choose a hospital, they base that choice on their experiences and what they have seen in emergency rooms or waiting rooms. When a patient feels comfortable and safe in a hospital that has subpar care, they will choose it over a hospital that has good care but a reputation that it is unsafe. When workplace violence is not well managed, it can jeopardize not only the staff, but the reputation in the communities served.
The writer’s conclusion: “…a healthcare facility’s security approach must extend beyond top-down security management and physical security.” The article urges healthcare facility managers to go beyond the conventional approach to violence mitigation and “…train caregivers in nonescalation and de-escalation approaches.”
TAL Global’s “Team of Experts” offers a wide spectrum of safety and security enhancing solutions focused on the healthcare sector. Our expertise range from access control, through the carrying of sensitive investigations to innovative “Assertive Honoring” conflict management tools developed specifically for caregivers in high-stress environments such as ERs.
Contact us at (408) 993-1300 to tell us about the challenges you face in your facility.