Over that last few months, the conversation in healthcare has shifted to focus solely and completely on the COVID-19 pandemic by necessity. This threat to all citizens outweighs other issues and demanded the full focus and effort of healthcare providers everywhere. As this battle continues, we are now able to see glimmers of light at the end of the long dark tunnel with a new all-consuming focus emerging in the form of financial recovery. This literally compounds our problems by removing the remaining oxygen in the room as we struggle to find our last bit of energy focused on salvaging our devastated finances. No one could argue the absolute necessity of effective financial recovery to ensure the long-term viability of our healthcare infrastructure. As we shift from one existential crisis to another, I think we need to stop and take a moment to ask ourselves if workplace violence prevention is still an issue worthy of our time and energy. I believe it is and always will be.
Any quick Google search will show that the number of news reports about violence against healthcare workers has not slowed in any meaningful way. We see assault on healthcare workers across our nation. The underlying issues that lead to healthcare being the most violent industry in America have not changed, and in many ways, they have only been compounded by the pandemic. In my blog, titled Why Is There So Much Violence in Healthcare?, I talk about the culture of silence and underreporting that is a major factor in why violence has been so prevalent in the healthcare industry. This issue of silence on healthcare violence has led me to believe that we must force the brightest possible spotlight on this issue and keep it there, no matter what competing conversations are going on around us.
Healthcare security leaders have a duty to advocate for improved security for healthcare facilities and healthcare workers. In carrying out that duty, let us not lose sight of the issue of violence prevention. We are responsible to those we protect to be their voice when they are silent. No matter what we are dealing with; pandemic, financial recovery, or some other great crisis to come; we must keep our organizations aware of the issue of violence and working toward solutions to decrease violence in our facilities. Our clinical partners give their best daily and deserve our best in protecting them from unnecessary risk of injury. Violence can be prevented.
What are your thoughts on violence prevention? How do you advocate for violence prevention in your facility? Joint he conversation in the comments below. Don’t forget to like, share and follow to support the Proactive Security Blog.