Safety

Use of force in healthcare

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, September 6, 2020

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

by Brian Ward (bward@hcpro.com)

As the nation continues to discuss use of force by law enforcement, healthcare organizations must have their own discussions on how force is applied on their grounds. There are no simple solutions for responding to and preventing violence in the clinic or hospital. But when facilities do not put the time needed into their security policies, unnecessary harm can befall responders, bystanders, victims, and even the aggressors.

Some facilities will just generate a use of force (UOF) policy by copying the policy of their local police and putting it on their organization’s letterhead, says Thomas A. Smith, CHPA, CPP, president of Healthcare Security Consultants. Some have policies where minor infractions by patients or visitors can result in force. Some don’t train enough or don’t have well-defined restraint policies. And some have great policies that are forgotten in the heat of the moment.

“Short of correctional officers and police officers, you’re more likely to be a victim of [workplace violence] than any other occupation. It’s an interesting and dangerous place to work, and we have to provide reasonable levels of safety, and that is determined best by your assessment of your own facility,” says Smith.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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