Canadian Security Magazine

IAHSS releases violence in health care stats

By Canadian Security   

News Health Care

According to the 2012 Crime and Security Trends Survey, recently released by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, last year saw the greatest number of fatalities reported by IAHSS members.

IAHSS began surveying its members almost 20 years ago; eight homicides were reported last year by member facilities. The survey was researched and written by Dr. Victoria Mikow-Porto. According to an IAHSS release, the survey “provides a kind of compass to trends as well as provides information identified by health-care security professionals as critical to their needs in a rapidly changing environment.”

The results of the survey were based on responses from 208 member health-care organizations. Results indicate that crime increased almost across the board since the last survey was conducted in 2010, including simple assaults, larceny and thefts, vandalism, and rape and sexual assaults. A total of 20,515 crimes were reported: an increase of 5,524 over 2010. IAHSS estimates that 98 per cent of health-care facilities experience violence and crime.

“It’s important for the public to know that, by and large, HCF’s are safe places; homicides, while rising, are still considered statistically rather rare events like a school shooting,” said Porto. “When these violent incidents do occur, they impact everyone and make us all afraid.”

Among Porto’s recommendations for helping to reduce violence and crime: more vigilant surveillance of people entering hospitals, use of restraints on patients most at risk of being violent, metal detectors to reduce presence of weapons, and training in violence de-escalation for personnel in high risk areas.


“Just arming more people is not necessarily the right answer,” she said.

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