6/07/18

#HAVhope boosts awareness about healthcare setting violence

healthcare employee tries to help calm angry patientJune 8 marks the second annual national Hospitals Against Violence Day.

The goal? Help employees and communities see that health systems like Carle stand with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and other local, regional and national organizations to help keep healthcare centers safe for patients and for employees.

The recently released Community Health Improvement Plan continues to list preventing and reducing violence as one of Champaign County’s top priorities, proving communities in this region are not immune.

“To help combat this major public health and safety issue, we must keep this important topic part of our conversation in the region for our patients, our visitors and our staff,” said Carle President and CEO James C. Leonard, MD, who helped launch the Hospitals Against Violence #HAVhope initiative during his tenure on the AHA Board of Trustees.

While a host of efforts continue to best equip staff with the information and tools they need to deal with potential violence, several remain firmly in the spotlight.

  • Active shooter training   
  • Stop the Bleed kits at Carle facilities
  • Violence de-escalation training

Carle Security Director Chuck Plotner and his team take action to deal with patients and visitors who verbally and physically abuse employees.

“We know we often see people on their toughest days, whether they’re seeking treatment or helping care for family and friends,” he said. “Still, we can’t tolerate violence when our employees are simply trying to do their job.

“We’re here to help people and to keep them safe while we provide the healthcare they need.”

Employees, especially those in high-risk areas, will receive additional training later this summer so they know how to deal with violence and how to report it quickly and completely for the best possible results.

Online training will keep violence de-escalation and other tactics top of mind. It also will help employees understand the availability and use of Stop the Bleed kits being installed with existing automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) for anyone to use at Carle facilities.

The kits contain what bystanders would need – including gauze and tourniquets – to help save lives in the critical moments after a mass shooting or other incident where people often die from unstaunched bleeding.

“Of course we hope they’re never put to use, but it’s important to have these kits these days in case something happens,” said Anita Guffey, Carle Emergency Management director.

Carle's trauma department provided Stop the Bleed training and kits to all public schools in 21 counties in east central Illinois. The goal is those trained can then share what they’ve learned with school staff, families and students.

“Our communities must work together to combat all forms of violence, now viewed as one of the major public health and safety issues throughout the country. Community action programs such as those being undertaken by our nation's hospitals and health systems (alone and with others) are needed now more than ever to help address violence and the toll it takes on our communities and hospital colleagues,” the AHA website says.

To learn more, visit aha.org.