The top security issue facing hospitals today is workplace violence, expert Thomas A. Smith, CHPA, CPP, tells us in this month's Interview. But, Smith continues, preventive policies and procedures as well as reactive plans to mitigate violence can help to ensure a safer environment.
Fortunately, health facilities professionals do not have to look far for help. The health care field's extensive infrastructure of associations, professional societies and government agencies have been developing and gathering all manner of web-based resources.
Most recently, the Joint Commission launched an online resource center dedicated to preventing workplace violence in health care settings. The Workplace Violence Prevention Resources portal provides materials for health care organizations, health care professionals and the general public.
Using easy-to-access policies, procedures, guidelines, research, case studies, white papers and toolkits, the center's topics span violent and criminal event preparedness and prevention, active-shooter situations, workplace safety measures, behavioral threat management, emergency operations planning, and incivility and bullying.
Likewise, the American Hospital Association's Workforce Center website and the AHA's various entities provide a wide variety of violence prevention resources. The AHA's American Society for Healthcare Risk Management provides a Healthcare Facility Workplace Violence Risk Assessment Tool to assist in preventing violence against staff; its American Organization of Nurse Executives also offers a Toolkit for Mitigating Violence in the Workplace; and its Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence links to a number of resources.
Still more resources can be found at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Preventing Workplace Violence in Healthcare web page and the World Health Organization's Violence Against Health Workers web page.
With new violence-prevention resources appearing almost daily, the biggest challenge may be sorting through them all.