Healthcare workers are at a high risk of experiencing workplace violence and associated injuries, and the presence of weapons in a healthcare setting increases the potential severity of injuries and consequences of violence. The specific aim of this study was to determine which organizational factors were associated with frequent weapons confiscation in a healthcare facility and to identify potential effective interventions. This study investigated the hypothesis that hospital-related factors impact the frequency of weapons confiscation.
A cross-sectional survey was administered on-line to hospital security directors and assessed the associations of organizational factors with the frequency of weapons confiscation.
It was found that hospitals with metal detectors were more than 5 times as likely to frequently confiscate weapons, suggesting this intervention is effective. It was also found that hospitals with psychiatric units were more likely to have frequent confiscation of weapons, likely due to the standard procedure of searching patients before admission to the psychiatric unit. Several factors thought to be potentially related, such as perception of risk and state violent crime rates, were not associated with weapons confiscation risk.
This data suggests that searching patients and using metal detectors are important tools in the prevention of weapons entering a healthcare setting. This reduction would likely enhance safety and reduce injury from workplace violence.
Original Publication Citation
Blando, J., Paul, C., & Szklo-Coxe, M. (2020). Risk factors for workplace encounters with weapons by hospital employees [Article in Press. Research Square, 13 pp. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-77376/v1
Blando, James; Paul, Chalsie; and Szklo-Coxe, Mariana, "Risk Factors for Workplace Encounters with Weapons by Hospital Employees" (2020). Community & Environmental Health Faculty Publications. 108.