A Philadelphia hospital is learning the hard way that even the possibility of failing to ensure adequate safety measures for its healthcare workers can have serious consequences for those workers, as well as the hospital’s own reputation and legal standing. Pennsylvania Hospital is being sued by a Resident who was assaulted by a psychiatric patient during an examination. The physician claims that his employer’s failure to install security cameras and to assess whether the patient could pose a threat based on history of violence or criminal background, as well as potential for agitation or psychosis, left him and colleagues exposed to risk of physical harm, and resulted in him being attacked. While the outcome of the suit remains to be seen, and clearly there are different issues at work in a hospital psych unit vs the typical urgent care center, the case is a reminder that “worst case scenarios” must be anticipated and guarded against when it comes to staff and patient safety. JUCM published an article on being vigilant for, and working to minimize the risk of sexual assault and harassment of staff at the hands of patients. You can read #MeToo in the Urgent Care Center: When the Perpetrator Is a Patient on our website right now.

Failing to Protect Your Team from Unruly Patients Puts Them—and Your Business—at Risk