In the news: Joint Commission releases alert on healthcare violence

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, June 7, 2010

The Joint Commission has released a Sentinel Event Alert warning healthcare providers about the rise of violence in hospitals and other healthcare institutions, including a steadily increasing rate of assault, rape, and homicide.

The alert specifically addresses these types of crime, and notes that The Joint Commission has had the greatest number of these events in the last three years: 36 incidents reported in 2007, 41 in 2008 and 33 in 2009. Some of the contributing factors included problems in policy procedure development and implementation; human resource issues, such as lack of staff education and competency assessments; flawed patient observation protocols; inadequate assessment tools; lack of psychiatric assessment; and general communication failures.

To read the entire Sentinel Event Alert on healthcare violence, click here.

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