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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

Review your use of force policies to avoid unnecessary harm

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September 24, 2020

by Brian Ward (bward@hcpro.com)

As the nation continues to discuss use of force by law enforcement, healthcare organizations must have their own discussions on how force is applied on their grounds. There are no simple solutions for responding to and preventing violence in the clinic or hospital. But when facilities do not put the time needed into their security policies, unnecessary harm can befall responders, bystanders, victims, and even the aggressors.

Some facilities will just generate a use of force (UOF) policy by copying the policy of their local police and putting it on their organization’s letterhead, says Thomas A. Smith, CHPA, CPP, president of Healthcare Security Consultants. Some have policies where minor infractions by patients or visitors can result in force. Some don’t train enough or don’t have well-defined restraint policies. And some have great policies that are forgotten in the heat of the moment.

As the nation continues to discuss use of force by law enforcement, healthcare organizations must have their own discussions on how force is applied on their grounds. There are no simple solutions for responding to and preventing violence in the clinic or hospital. But when facilities do not put the time needed into their security policies, unnecessary harm can befall responders, bystanders, victims, and even the aggressors.



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