WellSpan used response team, staff training to reduce violent incidents

An American Hospital Association podcast describes how WellSpan Health has reduced workplace violence by 75% since 2019. Kenneth Rogers, MD, vice president and chief medical officer, discusses how the York, Pa.-based health system implemented a behavioral health emergency response team to de-escalate workplace violence incidents. Largely nurse-driven, the response team seeks to reduce miscommunication and misunderstandings before they escalate between stressed patients or family members and health care workers. Every employee receives one day of training to recognize the levels of escalation and de-escalation, as well as to learn necessary de-escalation skills. The emergency response team members receive additional mental health training and learn skills to handle more difficult workplace violence situations. Reducing workplace violence needs to be part of the hospital’s culture, Rogers says.