There is a notable increase of workplace violence in a healthcare setting. It’s no wonder that healthcare professionals are looking for a better answer to combat workplace violence. Nearly a quarter of all nurses have been attacked in one way or another in the past year. There are almost as many violent injuries in the healthcare industry as there are in all other industries combined. Healthcare workers only make up 9 percent of the American workforce. These statistics make a panic button for doctors offices a must.
Why Use a Computer Panic Button for Doctors Offices?
There are a few scenarios where a computer panic button for doctors offices would be useful.
One scenario where a computer panic button for doctors offices would be useful would be in a basic assault situation. According to OSHA in 2013, 80% of serious violent incidents reported in healthcare settings were caused by interactions with patients. With this statistic in mind, there is undoubtedly an issue with patient – healthcare worker assault. Pair this with the fact that healthcare workers usually work alone, there is definitely a need for a computer panic button for doctors offices.
Another scenario where a computer panic button for doctors offices would be useful would be if a worker in the office needs help quickly. Perhaps a nurse is working alone with a patient who has a heart attack. With the CRS Notify panic button, all people connected to the network would be made aware instantly that there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
A final scenario where a panic button would be useful is in the case of imminent danger to healthcare professionals and patients. There have been a few recent cases where an assailant has entered a doctor’s office. One such case is when a man entered a doctor’s office in Hoover, Alabama, and demanded to see a doctor. He then used pepper spray in the waiting room when his request was refused. There was also a case in Fresno, California, with an active shooter. With the CRS Notify panic button, the buttons are directly connected to 911 via E911 platform integration. Emergency personnel would know the moment a high alert is raised. This instance would cut out the middleman when getting in contact with authorities, saving valuable time in dispatch time when seconds matter the most.
How to Avoid Workplace Violence
Nurses and CNAs are especially vulnerable to workplace violence because they spend the most time with patients. In fact, 21% of registered nurses and nursing students reported being physically assaulted in 2013.
The most important thing that nurses, CNAs, and doctors can do is to continue to report the workplace violence. Many times, health care professionals will not report workplace violence because “it’s part of the job.” Other reasons for assaults going unreported is because many professionals do not have faith in the system.
In September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB-1299, which tells the Cal/OSHA Standards Board to adopt standards that require certain healthcare facilities to adopt a workplace violence program. Up until the signing, there were no states that had adopted such legislation. To date, there is no federal regulation that protects healthcare workers from the ramifications of workplace violence.
Incident Response Plan
An incident response plan is just as important as a computer panic button for doctors’ office. How does the staff need to react in case of emergency? Depending on the type of emergency, it may not be advisable to hit the panic button right away. In fact, many safety and security personnel will advise against hitting the panic button during an active emergency if it is not safe to do so.
An incident response plan would be especially advisable for doctors offices that regularly see patients with limited mobility or mental abilities. What happens when the office needs to be evacuated quickly?
In the case of an active shooter, many places will recommend run-hide-fight. Running from the situation is the first thing that people should do. If it is unsafe to run, then people need to hide in a safe place. If all else fails, fighting the assailant should be a last resort.
It is essential for a computer panic button for doctors’ offices to be included in every incident response plan. CRS Notify panic buttons include the option to raise two alert levels. Our technology-driven panic buttons also instantly alert everyone within a network if an alert has been raised. CRS Notify panic buttons can also be directly connected to 911 saving valuable dispatch time when seconds matter the most.
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