More hospitals treat community violence as providers' responsibility

Violence is an increasing concern for hospital leaders, particularly those in at-risk communities. Now, many of them recruit talent who can help them treat violence and its causes beyond the facilities' walls, according to Kaiser Health News.

One model program was created nearly 20 years ago by the University of Maryland Medical Center, KHN reported. The healthcare organization retains a violence intervention specialist who works with patients treated for violent injuries to determine what aspects of their lives put them in the path of such violence, and what interventions might reduce the risk. Although not all the factors directly correlate with risk level, they may help determine what programs or interventions could best suit the patients, according to the article.

Thirty providers nationwide have adopted similar initiatives, KHN reported. For example, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and New York's University of Rochester Medical Center follow up with patients after discharge and put them in touch with available social and medical support, such as continued education or drug rehabilitation programs, the article noted.

These programs operate on the idea that such interventions are a long-term investment in creating a healthy community, which improves both the patient population's health and the provider's bottom line, according to the article.

"There's been a ground swell of professionals understanding that [violence] is a public health issue," Rochelle Dicker, M.D., a trauma surgeon who directs the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center's violence intervention initiative, told KHN. 

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