Aspirus Health addressing increase in hospital violence since COVID-19 pandemic
WAUSAU, Wis. (WLUC) - Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care field has experienced an increase in workplace violence.
The pandemic has placed significant stress on the entire health care system, and unfortunately, in some situations, patients, visitors and family members have verbally or physically attacked health care staff and jeopardized our workforce’s ability to provide care.
According to a 2022 workplace survey from the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), of nearly 11,900 nurses, almost one-third of respondents had experienced incidents of physical violence and two-thirds said they had experienced bullying or incivility.
#HAVhope Friday, or Hospitals Against Violence, is a national day of awareness (June 2) to highlight how America’s hospitals and health systems are working toward partnerships, innovations and creative thinking to build a safe workplace and community.
Aspirus Health has been committed over the past year to significantly advance and accelerate work to protect our health care workers against violence.
“Across our health system we have developed a Workplace Violence Committee with System Executive oversight and leadership to advance our program,” says Andrew Miller, Director of System Facility Management and Security at Aspirus Health. “We have focused on improving data reporting and analysis, risk evaluation and reduction assessments, and developing an aligned program that ensures the safety of our staff. Additionally, we have partnered to create tools internally and externally to provide education, risk mitigation and violence intervention programs that improve the safety of our staff.”
A variety of tactics have been completed to enhance employee and patient experiences within Aspirus Health:
- Formally introduced a Workplace Violence Committee that evaluates our Aspirus System-Wide efforts and policies to promote a safe workplace for our employees, patients, and visitors
- Completed Technology, Physical and Community Risk Assessments to identify opportunities to create a safe hospital and clinic environment
- Reviewed and enhanced our technology and physical environment to ensure we are leveraging all tools and opportunities to provide a safe environment
- Developed a simple workflow for employees and leadership to encourage all workplace violence events receive thorough reporting, investigation and follow-up
Miller adds, “we continue to assess risk and implement initiatives that help us move toward a proactive environment to protect our staff.”
Aspirus takes workplace violence events seriously and encourages employees to report any incidents including verbal, physical and mental abuse. There are several internal employee assistance services for those seeking help.
Copyright 2023 WLUC. All rights reserved.