Over the last decade, there has been a growing amount of data on workplace violence in healthcare and its negative outcomes. The focus has been mainly on the events themselves and just briefly touches on the financial impact these negative events have on the organization. I have discovered a disturbing trend through my years working in a large hospital and interviews with other security managers from large hospital systems. The real financial impact is lost because the claims have been filed under workers compensation. Though the events have been documented as categories that fall within the definition of workplace violence, they have all been identified as workers comp. The key to correcting this issue and identifying the actual cost of the preventable loss to your facility is twofold.
The first step is to coordinate with the Human Resources office to separate workplace violence workers comp claims into its own category. If possible, breaking that data down not only by workplace violence, but also category of workplace violence, such as kick, punch, etc. Either way, this will allow your organization to identify the current dollar amount lost to workplace violence events.
The second step is to now operationalize this data. There is now a concerted effort for facilities to track and report workplace violence events. However, there has been little to no real guidance on how to mitigate the identified events or track the effectiveness of those mitigations properly. The financial data is one of several tools to help do just that, determine what we hope is a reduction in negative outcomes of workplace violence events. By analyzing the workers comp claims, the organization will have a clearer view of the financial impact that workplace violence is having on their facilities.
Once the data is collected and a concerted effort in healthcare-specific workplace violence prevention planning and de-escalation training, organizations can reduce their workplace violence negative outcomes. It is important to remember that workplace violence itself will never be eliminated, as the elements leading to the individual committing the violence are out of the victim’s control. Therefore, the only true impact an organization can have is the prevention of negative outcomes.
It is difficult to watch the daily news without seeing headlines of a workplace falling victim to a hostile act. This is even more prevalent