What healthcare providers can do to prevent violence

Healthcare providers are ideally positioned to help stop the cycle of violence that claims the lives of 56,000 Americans every year, and more are starting to realize this fact, according to an article in Hospitals & Health Networks Daily (H&HN).

Violence prevention is a key component to population health management, a concept that's driven providers to improve the overall wellbeing of their communities, writes Julia Resnick, MPH., a program manager with the Association for Community Health Improvement and the Health Research & Educational Trust. However, an October report from the American Hospital Association's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative found that only 12 percent of providers surveyed identified "violence reduction" as a key community health need.

Some providers work to bridge that gap with unique approaches to address violence in their communities. H&HN highlights the San Francisco Wraparound Project, through which San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center provides mentorship and other resources to reduce violent-injury readmissions, as well as the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Violence Prevention Initiative, which takes on bullying, domestic violence and assault re-injury.

And it isn't just a problem outside hospital walls: Violence against healthcare workers has long been identified as a major challenge the industry faces. Initiatives in hospitals throughout the country have sought to curtail the problem by identifying triggers and training staff to diffuse tense situations, FierceHealthcare has reported. Providers even must plan for the event of shootings on their grounds, with a deadly attack as recently as July, in which a mental health patient shot and killed his caseworker and wounded a physician.

Regardless of where it's committed, one key method of reducing violence in the community is to tackle some of its underlying health causes--substance abuse and behavioral health issues, H&HN reports. It further advises hospitals treating victims of violence to provide trauma-sensitive care and conduct follow-up care to address the physical and emotional toll of the trauma.

To learn more:
- read the article