The Unthinkable: Violence in Healthcare from Bullying to an Active Shooter
Susan Fahey Desmond is a principal with Jackson Lewis PC. She has been representing management in all areas of labor and employment law for over 30 years. A noted author and speaker, Ms. Desmond is listed in Best Lawyers in America and has been named by Chambers USA as one of America’s leading business lawyers.
The healthcare environment creates a major challenge in the prevention and intervention of violence. The rate of injuries and illness from violence in the healthcare industry is more than three times greater than violence in all private industries. Healthcare organizations include hospitals, outpatient clinics, medical office clinics, home health care, home-based hospice, paramedic, and emergency medical services, mobile clinics, drug treatment programs, and ancillary healthcare organizations. What makes violence in healthcare unique is that it carries negative ramifications for quality patient care.
In the U.S. some states, such as California, have passed legislation specifically addressing violence in healthcare. There are other federal and state laws that require the employer to address the hazards of workplace violence, and laws that protect the victims of workplace violence. OSHA identifies healthcare as one of three “high risk” industries for violence and has written a Guidance document specifically outlining steps healthcare should take to combat the risk.
Violence in healthcare is perpetrated not only by patients, their families, and visitors but as well among the health professionals themselves. It may include a patient admitted to the ER high on drugs and wielding a knife. Or, it may be an enraged physician in the operating room flinging a scalpel at a nurse. And, the violence may be one nurse bullying another nurse – depending on how the word “violence” is actually defined.
Violence in healthcare is not unique to the United States but occurs all over the world. In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data reported healthcare and social assistance workers were the victims of approximately 11,370 assaults by persons; a greater than 13% increase over the number of such assaults reported in 2009. Almost 19% (i.e., 2,130) of these assaults occurred in nursing and residential care facilities alone. Unfortunately, many more incidents probably go unreported.
- To define workplace violence
- To provide examples of workplace violence in healthcare
- To discuss the relevant laws that address workplace violence
- To state the impact and consequences of violence to the healthcare victims, the organization and patient care
- To examine the clinical, occupational, social, and economic factors of violence in healthcare
- To review 10 de-escalation tips when dealing with an angry individual
- To examine the causes of healthcare violence
- To discuss a violence prevention program to ensure patients, families, visitors, and staff are safe
- To outline the roles and responsibilities of the organization’s stakeholders
- To explain how to help the workplace and workers recover following a violent episode
Who Should Attend
- Director of Risk Management
- Director of Safety
- Director of Quality Improvement
- Occupational Health Nurse
- VP of Nursing/Chief Nursing Officer
- Legal counsel
- Chief Medical Officer
- Chief Operations Officer
Why Should You Attend
The healthcare setting is one of the most violent venues in which to work in the U.S. and internationally. Healthcare is unique in that the violence that occurs here, has negative ramifications to quality patient care. The Joint Commission has even taken a stand on dealing with unsafe patient care due to abusive (which may constitute violence) behavior by health professionals. Your role as leaders in your healthcare organization equates to a responsibility to create and sustain a safe working environment for your employees AND a safe and healing environment for your patients.
This webinar will review the critical elements required to plan, design, develop, implement, and evaluate your healthcare organization’s violence prevention plan. Are you prepared to deal with an active shooter on one of your patient floors - which happened in a hospital in Minnesota? As we hear more and more about mass shootings, it causes us to pause and wonder if it could really happen in a hospital, clinic, or when visiting a patient’s home. Fortunately, most violence does not rise to that level, but nonetheless, the violence that commonly occurs in healthcare has profound consequences for all involved. It is essential you prepare to prevent and react to minimize violence that occurs.