Tony York: “Healthcare security is essential.”

What’s the most important thing healthcare facilities and physicians should know about healthcare and healthcare security, according to industry expert Tony York?

“Security staff and security as a concept is essential for the healthcare facilities, operations, and the environment they're trying to create,” he says.

As LHA Trust Funds staff members prepare for our Workplace Violence Symposium on March 16, we understand just how right York is.

Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect at the symposium — the speakers, the content, and the passion for preventing workplace violence.

Security Officer

Preventing Workplace Violence

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations made up about 23% of cases of nonfatal workplace intentional injuries — by another person — that required at least a day away from work in 2020.

Often healthcare workers don’t know what to expect from their work environments, faced with verbal abuse, the act or threat of physical violence, disruptive behavior, or even an active shooter situation.

In 2020, an active shooter at Ochsner LSU Health St. Mary Medical Center in Shreveport shot a man and wounded another individual.

And just last year, hospitals in Central Louisiana increased security after reports of an active shooter targeting them reached local media and Alexandria law enforcement.

These incidents are a reminder to healthcare organizations that, no matter how good your plan is in theory, it can be refined in practice. That’s why our symposium features Chief of Police and Chief Security Officer William H. Adcox and Assistant Chief of Police Vicki King speaking about building and refining your organization’s workplace violence prevention program.

The duo will discuss how to create and implement a workplace violence prevention program along with metrics to determine success and useful strategies to employ for continuous process improvement.

They also review the specific regulatory requirements of a workplace violence prevention program, including CMS, OSHA, and The Joint Commission Standards.

Workplace Violence and Healthcare Workers

It’s no secret the constant worry about violence in the workplace takes its toll on healthcare workers — and the healthcare industry itself.

Physical violence, harassment, intimidation, and other negative behavior in the work environment from patients, visitors, or even coworkers can also influence the level of care given.

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William Clarke and Gary Delahousssye, an attorney at Gachassin Law Firm, examine the causes and effects of the rise in threatening, disruptive behavior against healthcare workers.

They also give their insights and some management strategies for the challenges of providing patient care amid the increased risk of acts of violence in the workplace.

Locking Down Healthcare Security

To understand the future of healthcare security, you need to understand the past, according to York, who currently serves as Executive Vice President for the Paladin Security Group and is co-author of Hospital and Healthcare Security.

Healthcare professionals should invest in their healthcare security officers’ professionalism, training, and compensation because of the role they play in de-escalating patients, visitors, and family members while showing empathy.

“We want to make certain that we're showing folks that they're essential — the roles that they play, the investments we need to make to them and their development,” York says.

By investing in security personnel training, organizations can, in turn, make their healthcare staff feel more secure and address their safety concerns.

“They're starting to see the security strategies being deployed as an executive team, mapping those to their talent management strategies, or overall employee well-being strategies,” York says. “In my opinion right now, that’s probably top of mind for every single healthcare organization sitting out here because they can't afford to lose the talent — it’s too expensive.”

York’s symposium presentation will also focus on how to use your organization’s built environment, identify where violence is likely to occur, and best practices to combat it in healthcare.

“Although I'm not going to be able to give a masterclass on that particular subject, I want to give some examples of why that's important and some resources that folks can turn to,” he says.

Looking Forward to the Symposium

LHA Trust Funds created the Workplace Violence Symposium to support risk, patient safety, and healthcare security professionals in addressing workplace violence across Louisiana healthcare organizations.

Our goal is to give you networking opportunities with local and national experts, access to effective strategies to mitigate workplace violence, and awareness of topics that increase safety in the work environment.

Ready to register? Secure your spot now.

Want more workplace violence prevention resources? Explore our toolkit.

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