Protecting Healthcare Workers Through Facility Design

By Dan Hounsell
April 29, 2021

Healthcare workers are victims of workplace violence every day. On any given day, many staff members in healthcare are assaulted by a patient or visitor. This escalating violence is found among patients in the emergency department, the intensive care unit and general medical-surgical floors.

All of this has generated concern for hospital administrators, care providers and healthcare security practitioners alike, according to Security Infowatch. How can healthcare workers be better protected?

One important answer is to incorporate the principles of safe design into the healthcare built environment. In June 2020, the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety published the 3rd edition of Security Design Guidelines for Healthcare Facilities

The new edition places considerable attention on its updated guidance to help combat violence in healthcare using the built environment. Specific emphasis was placed on the design of high-risk patient/observation rooms that can be used for disruptive or aggressive patients, those at risk for elopement, and forensic (prisoner) patient treatment.

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