Beginning in November, we will be focusing on violence in healthcare settings. This is a global issue – it is happening not just here in the United States, but around the world.
To start this educational program, we must first review key facts and statistics about violence in healthcare environments. According to a 2022 study by the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety Foundation (IAHSS), here are some things we need to know:
- The healthcare industry in the U.S. is fast growing. From 2020 to 2030, we can expect it to grow by 16 percent.
- This also means it is a high-growth area for employment. In the next few years, healthcare will create more jobs than any other industry.
- However, with growth, what we are seeing is more violence. The report states, “Violence is more prevalent in healthcare than in any other industry.”
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), healthcare workers are five times more likely to suffer workplace violence injury than other workers. Emergency Departments inside the healthcare setting maintain one of the highest risks of workplace violence.
- The IAHSS Council on Guidelines (2023) defines violence in healthcare as:
An act or threat occurring at the workplace that can include any of the following: verbal, written, or physical aggression; threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating words or action; bullying; sabotage; harassment; physical assaults or other behaviors of concern involving staff, licensed practitioners, patients, visitors, or others on-site or off-site when related to the healthcare facility.
- According to a study by Security Magazine, in one month alone, April 2022, 92 percent of all healthcare workers experienced workplace violence in a medical facility.
- In the same month, nine out of ten healthcare workers experienced or directly witnessed violence from a patient to a healthcare worker.
- Three of four healthcare workers encountered verbal and physical assaults during that month.
- In April 2022, almost half of the healthcare workers needed to call security or another coworker to assist them with a violent situation.
- As to reporting violence in healthcare, many healthcare workers now view it as “part of the job,” and do not report incidents. Further, many of these workers say they are discouraged from reporting these incidents.
- In the ED, where healthcare violence is often higher, “patients dealing with issues such as financial concerns, mental health, and substance use disorder can exacerbate workplace violence.
- Further, the ED department also delivers “bad news” to families and friends “who have insufficient skills to cope with the bad news.” This, once again, can result in violence.
Violence in Healthcare and TAL Global
To understand and address violence in healthcare, we have several challenges to discuss in November, even more than mentioned here. We will also discuss steps hospital administrators can take to prevent, reduce, and mitigate violence in healthcare; fortunately, there are many.
TAL Global has extensive experience working with healthcare administrators in facilities worldwide. We understand that the healthcare industry faces many security challenges including workplace violence. One of the first steps we recommend to hospital administrators is to commit to addressing violence in the workplace. In other words, realize it must be addressed, it is not “part of the job,” and there are ways to minimize, prevent, and mitigate it should it occur.
Further, hospital staff, nurses, doctors, and other employees must be encouraged to report any incidents of violence and never be deterred from doing so. Workplace violence, no matter where it occurs, must be addressed.
TAL Global is an elite security, consulting, and risk management firm that protects human and physical assets around the globe. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.