Hospital Security Changes Reduce Turnover
June 1, 2023
A large hospital in the Midwest with over 35,000 discharges, 800,000 ambulatory visits, 75,000 emergency room visits and about 7,500 cars per day, sought our help in assessing access control risks and making recommendations. A collaboration was needed because the hospital’s security situation was not acceptable and contributed to higher staff turnover rates and cost.
The hospital needed new security measures to prevent staff from leaving the organization due to feeling unsafe at work. Did you know?
- 63.3% of US nursing staff have considered leaving the organization due to workplace violence. It costs almost $70,000 to replace a nurse.
- 8.8% considered leaving the profession
- 6.3% considered changing jobs (1)
In addition, research shows that as nurse satisfaction increases, patient satisfaction and outcomes also increase.(2) Therefore, it is essential for nurses to feel safe.
OSHA 3826 Injury Rate Data Violent Injuries Resulting in Days Away from Work by Industry 2002-13
Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics data for international injuries caused by humans, excluding self-inflicted injuries.
According to OSHA, healthcare workers are 4-5 times more likely to experience workplace violence than employees in other industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows higher levels of violent incidents and injuries occurring among healthcare workers, when compared to all other industries.
The hospital needed to make the following changes:
- Update their security systems to prevent incidents where necessary personnel were unable to access restricted areas
- Create secure but usable openings for ADA and egress compliance
- Install visitor management platform to screen for potentially dangerous individuals
- Nursing and staff turnover costs were escalating
- Improve access control at many of the 80 openings in the facility
Following the risk assessment, we worked with the hospital to determine solutions to their problems. We then developed an access control master plan.
We provided security design and advanced physical security training to the hospital’s security team to ensure that for this and future projects, all federal and local security requirements were met.
We established an access management program in a way that has not been done elsewhere in the U.S. The goal was to ensure all visitors could be appropriately identified, accounted for, and have a purpose for accessing the hospital.
The Collaboration Resulted in the following:
- Created the business case for turnstile access barriers at major staff, patient and visitor entry points of the facility, compliant with codes and operational needs
- Vetted a new electronic access control platform
- Incorporated visitor management software, which is integrated with the medical records system and enables patients to list authorized visitors.
Once the hospital implemented our solutions, we found that most staff members surveyed:
- Felt safer and less stressed when caring for patients.
- Reported fewer security incidents and quieter inpatient floors after hours.
- Incidents/calls for security services in the family center were cut in half.
- Visitors felt safer, with 100% of those surveyed saying they felt physically comfortable and safe during their visit.
The use of a professional visitor management platform in conjunction with turnstiles did the following:
- Created a streamlined, standardized visitor check-in process for patients, visitors, contractors and vendors
- Captured detailed visitor information more accurately and automatically for full accountability
- Printed a badge to enable all staff to better recognize unauthorized persons or persons in areas not authorized
- Addressed issues when there is no ID – the system allows for the capture of a signature and the taking of a photo, which can be valuable in incident investigations
- Alerted Security when someone on a watch list entered the hospital
Enhanced screening measures reduced the number of “code calls” for staff threats by 50%
Less time spent on calls will save the hospital $3,649 annually.
Based on historical turnover experience, our client will save an estimated $690,000 in one department, over the next 18 months due to the security enhancements reducing costly staff turnover.
1. Speroni, K., Fitch, T., Dawson, E., Dugan, L. & Atherton, M. (2014). Incidence and cost of nurse workplace violence perpetrated by hospital patients or patient visitors. Journal of Emergency Nursing. 40(3), 218-228
2. Monroe, M. & Wofford, L. (2017). Open visitation and nurse job satisfaction: An integrative review. Journal of Clinical Nursing (26), 4868-4876.