Violent crime in American and Canadian hospitals rose 16% between 2012 and 2013, according to an International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation (IHSSF) survey
What caused the rise in violent incidents? “It’s a combination of better [staff] awareness of what a crime or an assault might be, as well as more crime coming into the facility,” IHSSF president Steve Nibbelink told SecurityInfoWatch.com.
Many hospitals are educating staff on workplace violence and improving their reporting metrics. At the same time, with patient acuity, or condition intensity, on the rise, more patient and family fear and anxiety is resulting in more assaults against staff. In fact, the survey revealed that 75% of aggravated assaults were Workplace Violence Type 2 incidents, which are violent acts directed at staff by patients, as opposed to Type 1 assaults, which are violent acts committed by individuals with no connection to the hospital.
Because of this, “Focusing on efforts that prevent or mitigate Workplace Violence Type 2 incidents should be the focal point,” Karim H. Vellani, CPP, CSC, lead author of the 2014 Healthcare Crime Survey says in "Hospitals See Increase in Violent Crime."
So how can hospitals manage or prevent Type 2 violence? Following OSHA guidelines and Joint Commission standards is key, Vellani says.
So is bringing staff training to all departments, according to Maria Livina Feodora Jacobsen, RN-BC, clinical nurse manager at the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC). Jacobsen initiated mandatory crisis prevention and intervention training for CPMC staff in the emergency, security, and psychiatry departments and made it available to staff in all other departments as well.
The results? An increase in patient satisfaction scores. An increase in staff satisfaction scores. A decrease in patient seclusion and restraint. And a decrease in Type II assaults against staff.
Read “Type II Workplace Violence in an Urban Acute Hospital”
[PDF] for more about CPMC's training initiatives and other measures to reduce assaults.