Teaming with Law Enforcement in Healthcare
by Bob Armbrister, on Dec 5, 2019 12:00:00 AM
Q: What resources can hospitals use to manage workplace violence?
A: The law enforcement department in your community is a significant resource for healthcare in designing a united front in managing workplace violence. A strong and consistent relationship between the law enforcement leaders and the hospital leaders promotes safety for your institution and ensures a final process when violence occurs.
Here are some actions and tactics to consider in your program:
- Develop a direct communication plan between the hospital and law enforcement to troubleshoot emergencies. Have the leaders from law enforcement and the hospital meet regularly, including front-line staff. Record meeting notes and send them to the Environment of Care Committee for sharing and consistency.
- Consider including law enforcement in your security huddles.
- Develop a prior notification process with law enforcement that addresses incarcerated individuals or other persons in a "Not Free to Leave" status. This provides advance notice to the emergency department of a potential high-risk patient.
- If you have a hospital security department, consider making the security supervisor the point of contact for any officer coming to the hospital.
- A weapons policy that addresses managing a police officer's weapon if they are injured and brought into the emergency department.
These are just a few of the actions that can be taken with your local law enforcement agency to improve the overall safety of your facility. Enlisting their assistance and creating a relationship is pivotal to a successful workplace violence program.
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