Patient violence against healthcare workers is becoming such a serious problem in Queensland, Australia that the authorities are rolling out body cameras to protect staff.
The aim of the body cams is two-fold; to discourage violent attacks and to make police prosecution of offenders easier.
The cams are part of a range of measures the state government’s Occupational Violence Taskforce is implementing in order to clampdown on attacks against healthcare workers.
Local statistics say that more than 3000 healthcare workers are assaulted annually. This is not the first time the state authorities have had to remind the public to treat healthcare workers with respect. Previously it launched a $1.3 million education campaign on this serious matter.
"No one should go to work feeling frightened or fearful
of being assaulted," said Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle.
See Also: Hospital Violence: How to React
Other measures include:
- Upgrading CCTV cameras at hospitals;
- Introduction of "Code Black" procedures for violent or threatening situations;
- More security officers in a key emergency department.
In July, Queensland Health ran a trial on body cameras and duress alarms. Healthcare authorities are also considering banning patients who show a record of repeated violence to staff from local hospitals.
An newly-created overarching committee will see the implementation and monitoring of the measures.
Swipe card access for emergency departments and flagging frequently violent patients for improved monitoring and management is also on the agenda.
In the US, hospitals are not required to report any violent incidents to any state or national agency except California where as of January 1 2017, all violent incidents that take place in healthcare settings will have to b reported.
Last year, a British hospital became the first to install an onsite police station on the premises in a bid to fight increasing violence against staff and a number of facilities employ body cams.
Source: Brisbane TimesImage Credit: Medscape