An internal active threat typically lasts 8 minutes or less. That means every second matters in the dreaded scenario of an armed individual looking to do harm in a hospital. OSF HealthCare Saint Luke Medical Center began strengthening its response to workplace violence in 2016.
The hospital is located in Kewanee, whose population hovers around 12,500. Visualized on a map, the city forms the western point of a triangle with Moline to the northeast and Galesburg to the southeast. OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is part of a system of 13 hospitals. With 25 licensed beds, OSF Saint Luke Medical Center is among the smallest of the system’s hospitals. It sits at the edge of residential area and across from a municipal airport.
To improve hospital response to workplace violence, multidisciplinary teams implemented several interventions to increase the awareness of, prevent and react to potential incidents:
- Adding security for night-shift employees;
- Training 43 employees in managing aggressive behavior;
- Developing a workplace violence debrief tool;
- Educating departments on workplace violence; and
- Ensuring any event is documented.
OSF Saint Luke Medical Center invested $120,000 in staff time and training for this initiative. The Catholic hospital system is owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis and is guided by such values as justice, compassion, integrity, team work and employee well-being.
Its workplace violence initiative improves patient safety, increases communication with law enforcement and improves community safety.