The impact of workplace violence in healthcare facilities

In previous blogs, we discussed various factors that threaten the safety of healthcare workers while on the job. We also highlighted some key strategies that healthcare leadership can follow to better address the security challenges in the industry, like workplace violence. However, the impact of violent incidents in healthcare facilities goes far beyond the markings of physical injuries.

Healthcare workers who are victims of workplace violence not only suffer from physical injuries, but often suffer from non-visible trauma, such as:

  • Withdraw.
  • Loss of confidence. 
  • Suicidal thoughts. 
  • Short- and long-term psychological trauma (PTSD, depression, anxiety, or stress).
  • Fear of returning to work.
  • Feelings of social and family isolation.
  • Feelings of incompetence, guilt, powerlessness.
  • Fear of criticism by supervisors or managers.
Healthcare workers suffer physical injuries and non visible trauma due to workplace violence

On the other hand, there is also a financial impact due to workplace violence for hospital and healthcare systems. The costs derived from these kind of incidents can be divided in two different categories, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA):

Proactive Costs (regarding prevention and preparedness)

  • Public violence:

(Training, community building) 

Estimated cost for US hospitals $50,234 

  • In-facility: 

(Security staff and infrastructure, training, procedure development)  

Estimated cost for US hospitals $1,119.40. Estimated cost per hospital $201,186 

Healthcare facilities has financial costs due to workplace violence

Reactive Costs (regarding post-incident costs):

  • Public violence: 

(Uncompensated or undercompensated care, case management.) 

Estimated cost for US hospitals $852.2. Estimated cost per hospital  $153,163

  • In-facility:

(Staff turnover, medical care, indemnity, disability, absenteeism)  

Estimated cost for US hospitals $428.5. Estimated cost per hospital $77,013

Overall, it is estimated that U.S. hospitals and health systems spent a total of approximately $2.7 billion, of that, $429 million come from medical care, staffing, indemnity, and other costs as a result of violence against hospital employees. 

Healthcare security challenges demand safer workplaces for healthcare workers

As we have seen, workplace violence is perhaps one of the biggest challenges healthcare facilities face in today’s world. Real-world problems require real-world solutions. Safety wearables can be adopted as a layer of security to healthcare facilities, like the Kwema Smart Badge™. When workers face a threatening situation, the Kwema Smart Badge™ allows them to quickly send an alert with exact indoor location data to your security detail. In just three seconds your security staff can be notified, reducing injuries, saving precious time, and increasing the sense of safety in any healthcare facility.

Watch how Kwema is improving workplace safety




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