Browse By Topic and Related Items

Topic Browser

Related Items

Bookmark and Share

Spotlight on Physicians' Safety in Hospitals

From: The eWire, 9.29.2010

Recent shooting a reminder to report incidents of violence, hospitalist says

by Richard Quinn

Hospitalists should take care to remember the potentially violent offenders and situations that surround them daily at work, says a member of SHM's Practice Management Committee.

Michael Radzienda, MD, SFHM, vice president of hospital medicine and clinical effectiveness at Vanguard Health System in Southborough, Mass., says the recent shooting of a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore serves as a stark reminder that violence in the hospital is a concern for providers more than ever. To Dr. Radzienda's mind, that includes patients attacking doctors or patients attacking other patients.

"It's a newer issue for hospitalists, but one that they need to pay attention to," Dr. Radzienda says. "The volume of high-risk interactions that a hospitalist might have is significant compared to what that volume might have looked like 10 years ago before the hospitalist (model) took off."

And while one might think the incident at Johns Hopkins is enough to shine a lasting spotlight on the issue, a report from The Joint Commission this summer on hospital violence faded relatively quickly after its issuance. The commission's Sentinel Event Database, in fact, includes a category of assault, rape, and homicide (combined) with 256 reports since 1995, a number the organization suggests is under-reported. The commission's latest report, published in June, found that since 2004, hospitals have reported "significant increases in reports of assault, rape, and homicide, with the greater number of reports in the last three years."

The report recommends physicians learn techniques to identify potentially violent patients, implement violence de-escalation approaches, and even conduct violence audits to help determine an institution’s safety protocols.

Dr. Radzienda understands that training time and resources are stretched thin, but he says more focus on violence would be helpful to institutions and individual physicians. "The problem is someone needs to recognize this type of thing," he says. "But how do you prioritize that?"


This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. No part of this article can be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients, or customers by contacting our reprints department at reprints@wiley.com. Copyright © 2009 Society of Hospital Medicine, administered by John Wiley & Sons Inc.

current issue

September 2014

Search

The Hospitalist newsmagazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.

Copyright © 2000–2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. or related companies. All rights reserved.

ISSN: 1553-085X