Safety

Learn to spot ED violence before it hits

Hospital Safety Insider, January 15, 2015

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Violent incidents in hospitals, especially in the emergency department where 24/7 operations can expose a facility to all kinds of people, continue to pose one of the biggest challenges to healthcare workers.

 

As the security expert at your facility, you probably already know this, and maybe part of your daily routine is to take a long walk around and see where the potential hazards are in your ED. The hazards aren’t always easy to see, and the conditions are always changing. But stopping violence from happening may be as easy as taking a closer look at the people sitting in your emergency room and recognizing the signs of trouble brewing.

That closer look may even be what stops your workers from being injured or killed on the job. According to a report last year in Journal of Healthcare Protection Management, there were more than 150 shootings at hospitals across the United States from 2000 to 2011, and more than a third of them occurred in emergency rooms. In the two years since then, at least 47 gun discharges in U.S. hospitals have led to more than 39 deaths and 19 injuries, according to the report.

Consider also that a report last year from the Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) found that as many as 80% of all hospital staff have been “physically assaulted at least once during their career,” with nurses “at the greatest risk” for such assaults, and the picture becomes a little clearer.

This is an excerpt from an article in Briefings on Hospital Safety. Visit here to log in or subscribe.

 

 



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