Panic buttons and security dogs: How California hospitals combat workplace violence

Violence against healthcare workers takes place at organizations across the U.S. In California, some sites use panic buttons, metal detectors, security dogs and other measures to reduce such incidents, a California Hospital Association representative told California Healthline.

The efforts come as a Cal/OSHA standard requires specific types of hospitals, including general acute care hospitals and acute psychiatric hospitals, to take steps toward workplace violence prevention, including implementing and maintaining an effective workplace violence prevention plan and maintaining a log of violent incidents.

An annual report published in February showed that Cal/OSHA received 9,436 violent incident reports from 365 hospital facilities from Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018.

California Healthline reports that hospitals in the state have made various changes to address the issue.

Scripps Mercy Hospital launched a "rapid response" team of staff members who try to alleviate potentially violent situations and has a behavioral screening tool to help identify potentially violent patients, according to the report. 

Other efforts cited in the report include de-escalation training and increased police presence.

To read the full report, click here


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