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Addressing workplace violence in healthcare settings

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2022 | Health Law Attorneys

Thousands of people are involved in the healthcare industry in Texas. Unfortunately, workers who have direct contact with patients are experiencing higher incidences of workplace violence. A recent memorandum from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services points to the need for healthcare facilities to take precautions to protect staff and patients.

Creating a safe setting

Hospitals and other healthcare settings must meet established Conditions of Participation (CoP) to utilize Medicare and Medicaid programs. The obligation to create a safe environment for patient care is a critical standard.

Recent trends are making it challenging to meet this expectation. Emergency workers cite more frequent cases of physical and verbal abuse and assault. An emergency department that is not safe for employees is also unsafe for patients.

Developing an action plan

The need to develop an adequate assessment and action plan is another place where many facilities fall short of health care law standards. Every organization must have protocols in place to guide employees through a workplace emergency. Such plans must include:

  • Situational assessment
  • Behavioral health protocols
  • Law enforcement notification
  • De-escalation strategies
  • Patient and staff protection

An emergency that arises without a clear action plan leaves patients and staff members at risk of violence. Underreaction and overreaction to a dangerous situation can both lead to tragic consequences.

Providing adequate training

Training is another part of maintaining compliance with CoPs. People tend to freeze or flee if they are unprepared to deal with a dangerous event.

Every healthcare institution must carry out departmental and facility-wide emergency training events regularly. These sessions will establish a chain of command and help employees understand their responsibilities in an emergency.

In an ideal world, healthcare workers and patients would not have to worry about workplace violence. By following established CoPs, healthcare facilities can go a long way in improving safety and preventing emergencies.