Thursday, 14 November 2013

Many GPS are not protected from aggressive patients

Measures to protect staff from patient aggression are inadequate in many clinics, a study by the Monash School of Rural Health and the Monash Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine has found.

The study, run by MrDanny Hills, A/Prof Catherine Joyce and Emeritus Prof John Humphreys, included  949 doctors across the country. It aimed to identify the mechanisms clinics have in place to ensure the safety of health professionals.  

65.7% of participants reported aggression policies and protocols being in place at their workplace, with 68.2% being aware of incident reporting systems. Less than a third worked in environments designed to maximise their safety – for example, through the use of escape routes for staff. 

“Of particular concern is that point-prevalence rates for workplace aggression policies, protocols and/or procedures and incident reporting systems were not at or close to 100%, especially in public hospitals,” the authors said.

They recommended a zero-tolerance policy on patient aggression, supported by incident reporting and follow-up systems. Building security measures, such as alarms and escape routes, along with patient and public access restrictions, are also advisable.  

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