Cleveland Clinic Confiscated 30,000 Weapons in 2023

A mix of technology and collaboration can help address workplace violence in healthcare settings.

By Jeff Wardon, Jr., Assistant Editor

Cleveland Clinic confiscated 30,000 weapons brought in by patients and visitors in 2023, according to a press release. The clinic attributes the successful confiscations to increased security efforts. Measures the Cleveland Clinic has taken to tighten security in its facilities include expanding their police and security forces, implementing de-escalation training and installing magnetometers in emergency departments.  

“Violence against healthcare workers is a silent epidemic,” says Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic. “Last year, our own caregivers reported 3,800 incidents of verbal and physical violence. Violence will never be accepted as a part of our job.” 

In 2018, healthcare workers were five times as likely to experience an injury caused by workplace violence than workers overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly, it was found that 48 percent of hospital nurses reported that they saw more incidents of workplace violence, according to a 2022 survey by the National Nurses United. 

Preventing violence against healthcare workers is a multi-faceted problem, necessitating that many different stakeholders collaborate to find solutions. That collaboration gives way to various perspectives being shared, enabling a more comprehensive overall approach to be created. 

In addition to collaborative efforts, healthcare facilities managers also can use technology to address gaps in human capabilities. There are many solutions available, with one notable area being access control technologies.  

Sophisticated access control systems can use personal panic buttons and video analysis to detect and handle potential dangers early on, Doug Coppola, senior director of healthcare solutions, North America at LenelS2 previously told Healthcare Facilities Today. If workers feel threatened, they can activate a panic button equipped with real-time location services, informing security about who needs assistance and where. Combining video surveillance with voice analysis also helps spot incidents before they worsen, prompting security to send a team to de-escalate the situation and address the threat. 

Jeff Wardon, Jr. is the assistant editor for the facilities market. 

January 31, 2024

Topic Area: Safety , Security

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