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Stamping out occupational violence at the PAH

31 May 2019

Staff at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) are being commended for their commitment to stamp out occupational violence across campus.

Occupational violence (OV) in a healthcare setting is a complex issue with no simple solution; however, Senior Consultant in Human Resources, Ruth Wildin said PAH is tackling the problem head on to reduce risks to both staff and patients receiving our care.

“Our staff do not tolerate occupational violence in any form, whether intended or not, and are urged to report every incident,” said Ruth.  

“This increase in reporting OV across campus helps us get a true picture of violent hot spots so we can proactively manage potential hazards and mitigate risks.

The RiskMan electronic reporting system has been implemented across Metro South Health facilities over 12 months ago and encourages staff to actively report all incidents of OV.  

“I am pleased to see staff are actively using RiskMan to report OV which has resulted in an increase from 670 reports in 2017/2018 to 786 reported incidents in 2018/2019 so far,” she said.

PAH has a supportive 24/7 security presence, CTTV surveillance in highly frequented areas, duress alarms and even a dedicated program enlisting a team of clinicians to respond to occupational violence in key clinical areas.

Since the implementation of this Responding to Occupational Violence Emergencies (ROVE) initiative in May 2018, the team has assisted in 3778 responses, averaging about 340 per month.

“While the overwhelming majority of our patients are respectful and appreciate the care provided by our staff, we know the threat of violence is something hospitals around the world continue to face,” she said.

OV training has also been rolled out to all streams of staff focussing on communication skills for de-escalation of potentially violent behaviour.

“The wellbeing, safety and security of our patients, visitors and staff is our highest priority.

PAH continues to work hard to instil a strong culture of reporting incidents of aggression, including verbal abuse,” she said.

“When staff report incidents, and feel more equipped to manage them, potential risks are better understood, and more appropriate action can be taken.”

Last updated 20 June 2019
Last reviewed 31 May 2019

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