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|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
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A new study says that while
The study, which was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), was conducted by a team of researchers from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the
DHSS Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., said the report speaks to the many facets of hospital administration that need to be active in reducing workplace violence. "Hospitals are taking a hard look at policies and practices, the adequacy of staff training, potential controls within the emergency department environment and the effectiveness of security equipment," he said.
Eddy A. Bresnitz, M.D., M.S., DHSS Deputy Commissioner and State Epidemiologist, said the study highlights the vulnerability of healthcare staff who often work under high-stress conditions. "Their job is to work one-on-one with patients and to address the concerns of family members," Dr. Bresnitz said. "They need all the security and training we can provide to better protect them from potential harm."
The majority of hospitals have trained workers in violence prevention, but to be effective, the researchers recommend that training be enhanced to be more comprehensive, interactive and specific to the hospital. All staff members, including physicians, and volunteers should receive training. New staff and volunteers should also be trained on a timely basis.
Further, hospitals need to improve reporting of violent events and standardize the way they document incidents to inform new prevention strategies. Interaction between security personnel and healthcare staff should be better coordinated, and security equipment installed based on needs specific to their emergency department. A system for communicating the presence of potentially dangerous clients should also be instituted.
The report can be found on the DHSS website at www.state.nj.us/health/eoh/survweb/documents/njhospsec_rpt.pdf
Later this year, the study group will issue findings specific to workplace violence prevention in psychiatric units at acute care hospitals in
The findings of the complete study, which included hospitals in
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360