Assaults on staff at a Missouri hospital have tripled, panic buttons have been added to employee badges.
Following an increase in assaults on employees during the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare workers in a Missouri hospital will be given a panic button on their employee badges.
Staff at Cox Medical Center Branson have reported being spit on, cursed at, and even beaten by patients, according to KY3-TV in Springfield.
According to the Skaggs Foundation, a Missouri nonprofit that is helping to fund the devices, there have been 123 attacks and 78 injuries against the hospital’s healthcare employees in the last year. There were 94 attacks and 17 injuries in 2019, representing a 63 percent increase in injuries. Many incidents of workplace violence go unreported.
“It’s in our critical care units and med surge floor areas,” says the doctor. Angie Smith, the hospital’s patient safety facilitator, told KY3-TV that “a lot of times it’s repetitive violence.” “We may have the same patient repeating the same thing or becoming worse each time they do it,” she said.
After looking at the figures, Smith realized the system was needed. Employees who are victims of violence will be quickly found using the buttons, which will include a GPS-like technology.
According to a news statement from the Skaggs Foundation, the buttons are being supported by a $132,000 grant.
In a statement, Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grant Committee Chairman Nita Jane Ayres remarked, “This initiative safeguards our most valuable resource: our healthcare employees.” “We saw the relevance and urgency of this project when it was presented to us in August. Our healthcare personnel already put forth a lot of effort, but their safety should never be put in jeopardy.”
According to the charity, up to 400 staff could receive the devices.
Nurse Ashley Blevins believes the pandemic has contributed to the increase in violence, adding, “It’s wonderful we have the opportunity to hit our button and security knows exactly where we are.”
“They come in here and they have to sit in here because everywhere is filled, we have no places to put anybody,” Blevins told KY3-TV. “That’s frustrating on the patient, that’s annoying on us, and I think that’s increasing a lot of violence towards everyone.”
Medical personnel around the country have been putting in enormous hours to treat the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a condensed version of the information.