Bonnie Michelman, executive director of police, security and outside services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the security consultant for Partners Healthcare Inc., says violence in the health care workplace remains a frequent challenge.

“It is critically important that we are all united in combating and minimizing the threat of violence,” Michelman told fellow hospital security leaders, nurses and others during an American Organization of Nurse Executives webinar on the subject. The program, led by Michelman and Christina Stone, R.N., nursing director of inpatient psychiatry at Mass General, covered strategies and tactics that can be employed to prevent violence in health care settings. Here are just five of several initiatives they discussed

  • Analytics: The hospital deploys a computerized incident and activity reporting system that enables security leaders to quickly spot trends and identify things like the most volatile areas of the hospital so that resources can be deployed or augmented.
  • Addiction conflict and substance use disorder teams: The teams consult with medical-surgical staff about how to manage these types of patients should they exhibit aggressive behavior.
  • Health care-specific training on managing aggressive behavior: Police, security staff and all incoming nurses receive this education as part of their orientation.
  • Strategic Management Assessment and Response Team: This multidisciplinary team, led by police and security, includes clinical staff, risk management and psychiatry personnel. The team discusses volatile situations and provides customized consultations with departments on difficult situations.
  • Specialized services: The hospital offers assistance to employees who have been victims of a crime in the line of duty.

For the full webinar and more information on violence-prevention strategies, read the report from Hospitals & Health Networks.