Shootings and other violence in healthcare facilities are increasing, which is prompting administrators to take another look at their security. Experts caution that priorities sometimes are misplaced and that failing to protect employees can lead to significant liability.
When a prisoner escaped from guards recently at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA, staff and others in the facility were in jeopardy. The hospital’s security plan was activated and proved the value of planning for such an incident.
Despite a series of violent incidents that left the staff rattled, leaders at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, TN, recently decided to soften the image of its security guards to convey a more “family-friendly” environment, according to news reports and staff complaints.
Underscoring the threat in hospitals, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released updated Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers.
Hospitals that deploy remote video monitoring systems staffed with dedicated, trained observers can reduce patient falls significantly, with one reporting a reduction in patient falls and employee injuries, while also reducing associated costs.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago owes Medicare $6.4 million in alleged overpayments caused by billing errors, according to an audit by the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services.
A 4-day-old infant had an aortic coarctation, a narrowing of the aorta, which is a relatively common and easily curable heart defect. While preparing for surgery to correct the condition, the doctor ordered the nurse to give the infant pre-surgery medication.