One in Three U.S. Hospitals Report Rise in Violence and Assaults in 2014

One in three U.S. hospitals reported an increase in violence and assaults in 2014 despite widespread rising security budgets, according to a recent survey of 380 hospital administrators, chief security officers and staff by Guardian 8 Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian 8 Holdings. Top security concerns included the safety of patients and security officers as well as disruptions to patient care.

Reported increases in attacks and assaults included violence by patients and/or their families against emergency department personnel and staff such as nurses. Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) reported increasing their security budgets in 2014. The findings highlight the importance of proper security on hospital campuses and the need to address security staff turnover rates as high as 300 percent to 400 percent per year, according to Guardian 8, a provider of enhanced non-lethal (ENL) devices, such as the Pro V2, built for the security industry.

“No hospital facility can achieve its crucial mission of providing quality patient care without proper security to ensure patient, staff and visitor safety,” said Paul Hughes, chief operating officer of Guardian 8. “The inability to properly address a violent situation does not just affect the morale of security personnel, but also of the doctors and nurses around them. Low morale makes recruiting and retention a serious issue across the board. Minimizing security officer turnover therefore needs to be an integral part of a hospital’s overall security solution.”

An Equipment Issue

Guardian 8 maintains the excessive turnover in the hospital security industry is more an equipment issue than a matter of pay. When security officers feel safe, properly equipped and well prepared, they are less likely to leave—taking their first-hand knowledge of a hospital’s facilities, risks and protocols with them.

Hughes urged hospital security directors to recommend to administrators the smartest, safest security solutions. Exacerbating high security staff turnover, violent incidents lead to injuries and lost workdays. Add to that the high cost of replacing staff, estimated at 25 percent to 200 percent of the employee’s annual salary to cover the costs of advertising, interviewing, background checks, hiring and training.

According to the survey, 59 percent of respondents reported being unfamiliar with laws in their state restricting the use of non-lethal weapons. So if hospital administrators deny a request for security equipment for regulatory reasons, Hughes urged security directors to ask for the code or regulation in question.

Other survey highlights include the following:

  • Respondents’ top security concerns: patient safety (57 percent), officer safety (56 percent), disruptions to patient care (24 percent);
  • Response options: 15 percent of hospital security personnel are unarmed; 28 percent are armed; 57 percent use intermediate, non-lethal devices;
  • Variety of equipment carried by hospital security personnel: pepper spray, 41 percent; two-way communication system, 40 percent; baton, 37 percent; stun gun, 28 percent; on security officer video, 26 percent;
  • Seventy percent of respondents use an incident reporting system that includes a dashboard of activities for review; and
  • Fifty-one percent of respondents said they would feel comfortable moving away from their current security options.

Methodology

To understand recent trends in hospital violence and assault, and gauge top concerns and response options, Guardian 8 fielded an online survey of 380 hospital administrators, chief security officers, and nurses and hospital staff across the nation from Dec. 5, 2014 – Jan. 21, 2015.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    Perimeter Security Standards for Multi-Site Businesses

    When you run or own a business that has multiple locations, it is important to set clear perimeter security standards. By doing this, it allows you to assess and mitigate any potential threats or risks at each site or location efficiently and effectively. Read Now

  • ISC West 2024 is a Rousing Success

    The 2024 ISC West security tradeshow marked a pivotal moment in the industry, showcasing cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions to address evolving security challenges. Exhibitors left the event with a profound sense of satisfaction, as they witnessed a high level of engagement from attendees and forged valuable connections with potential clients and partners. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Live From ISC West: Day 2

    What a great show ISC West 2024 has been so far. The second day on Thursday was as busy or even more hectic than the first. Remember to keep tabs on our Live From ISC West page for news and updates from the show floor at the Sands Expo, because there’s more news coming out than anyone could be expected to keep track of. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • A Unique Perspective on ISC West 2024

    Navigating a tradeshow post-knee surgery can be quite the endeavor, but utilizing an electric scooter adds an interesting twist to the experience. While it may initially feel like a limitation, it actually provides a unique perspective on traversing through the bustling crowds and expansive exhibition halls. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West

Featured Cybersecurity

New Products

  • QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    The latest Qualcomm® Vision Intelligence Platform offers next-generation smart camera IoT solutions to improve safety and security across enterprises, cities and spaces. The Vision Intelligence Platform was expanded in March 2022 with the introduction of the QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC), which delivers superior artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing at the edge. 3

  • A8V MIND

    A8V MIND

    Hexagon’s Geosystems presents a portable version of its Accur8vision detection system. A rugged all-in-one solution, the A8V MIND (Mobile Intrusion Detection) is designed to provide flexible protection of critical outdoor infrastructure and objects. Hexagon’s Accur8vision is a volumetric detection system that employs LiDAR technology to safeguard entire areas. Whenever it detects movement in a specified zone, it automatically differentiates a threat from a nonthreat, and immediately notifies security staff if necessary. Person detection is carried out within a radius of 80 meters from this device. Connected remotely via a portable computer device, it enables remote surveillance and does not depend on security staff patrolling the area. 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3