How 2 Michigan health systems are combating workplace violence

Midland-based MidMichigan Health and Lansing, Mich.-based Sparrow Hospital are both launching new initiatives to prevent workplace violence, according to CBS affiliate WNEM.

Nearly half (41 percent) of nurses have been victims of workplace violence, according to a 2019 report by AMN Healthcare. About80 percent of violence in healthcare settings involves patients, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration data cited by WNEM. 

To prevent workplace violence, MidMichigan Health will be launching an employee task force in the coming weeks, the health system told WNEM. The task force will educate high-risk units on workplace violence. The proactive initiative will also include a poster campaign that publicizes the organization's zero tolerance policy for violence.

Sparrow Hospital is also working to promote prevention and immediate action when incidents occur. New initiatives include evaluating patients for high-risk behaviors, deploying a rapid behavioral emergency response team trained in deescalation tactics and expanding authority for hospital security. The organization told WNEM that it supports employees who choose to press charges against individuals who commit acts of violence.

Michigan legislation does not currently address assaults on emergency medical providers, though it is a felony to assault healthcare or emergency medical staff in 32 other states.

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