2 Mass. Hospitals Praised in Federal Workplace Violence Report

The report applauded the two hospitals’ approaches to workplace safety and emergency preparedness.

The safety and security procedures of two hospitals in western Massachusetts were praised in a recent OSHA report on workplace violence.

Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke and Mercy Medical Center in Springfield were specifically cited for successful programs in the report “Preventing Workplace Violence: A Road Map for Healthcare Facilities.”

When referring to the Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, the report applauded the labor contract between hospital management and registered nurses, who are unionized members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. The contract explicitly states that worker and patient safety will continue to improve.

The report says that through various initiatives the Holyoke hospital has established “more than a decade of collaboration on preventing workplace violence, a multidisciplinary task force, an open dialogue, a greater emphasis on prevention and de-escalation instead of restraint, and ultimately a decrease in the number and severity of assaults by patients.” The hospital also offers staff members training in self-defense and community relations.

RELATED: 6 Surprisingly Common Crimes Committed in Hospitals

Mercy Medical Center was praised for hosting a full-scale active shooter exercise this year. The drill included three scenarios: gang violence in the emergency department, a behavioral health escalation incident and an estranged boyfriend in the maternity unit, according to masslive.com.

The drill was coordinated with the Massachusetts State Police, Springfield City police, local EMTs and affiliated private sector companies, and was observed by nearby hospitals, school and college public safety departments, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Homeland Security Council and the Air Force Reserves.

The report says healthcare facilities experience more workplace violence than all other industries combined.

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