Staff at this community-based rural hospital in northwest Illinois that treats more than 18,000 emergency department (ED) patients annually and has a 13 bed inpatient psychiatric unit voiced safety concerns, leading to the organization's first shared governance project. An interdisciplinary team comprised of front-line staff, local police and representatives of the local mental health center. This team used Lean methodology to analyze the current situation, define priorities and create a workplace violence prevention program.
The program implemented mandatory training for crisis prevention and protection, the use of the Broset assessment tool to assess risk for violence, a policy to secure patients and belongings, and structural modifications to the ED environment. The team also created the role of a mental health crisis preventionist who would have a skill set that includes both psychiatric and security knowledge and expertise. The hospital utilized a variety of teaching methodologies to educate staff.