Greene County Medical Center Safety Committee-Front row (left to right): Diane Carey, Family Medicine Director; Ann Erickson, Interim Chief Nursing Officer; Brandon Hayes, Safety Officer; and Deb Wolterman, RN Public Health. Back row (left to right): Steve Hagen, Facility Services Supervisor; Jennifer Miller, Imaging Director; Bret Stuart, IT Director; James Fitzpatrick, Facility Services Director; and Chad Butterfield, CEO.
JEFFERSON, Iowa – On Tuesday, April 18, representatives from Greene County Medical Center traveled to Des Moines to receive the first Assured Partners and Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) ServiShare Service Spotlight Safety Award for implementation of a program to address workplace violence.
“Greene County Medical Center has gone to great lengths to research, design and implement a robust workplace violence prevention program,” said Elizabeth Kain, a loss control consultant at Assured Partners. “The extensive work of the Greene County Medical Center team not only aims to keep employees safe, but ensures all patients and visitors are protected as well. The entire team has my congratulations.”
“We are proud that our efforts to improve workplace safety are being recognized,” said Interim Chief Nursing Officer, Ann Erickson. “The safety and well-being of our employees, patients and visitors is a priority.”
Through this spotlight award, the 117 hospitals and health systems in Iowa can showcase their safety programs and be inspired to develop and implement new ideas based on their peers’ successes. Kain added this is also an opportunity for Greene County Medical Center to share their best practices with other healthcare organizations.
The Medical Center’s workplace violence program was initiated by Safety and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Brandon Hayes and overseen by Erickson. Hayes, who leads the safety committee and workplace violence sub-committee, said the original policy only covered incidents between employees. “We knew we needed a workplace violence program to address patients, visitors and vendors,” said Hayes. “We also knew we needed to create a way for staff to notify specific people if they needed help de-escalating an individual.”
According to Erickson, this is a critical safety component, particularly in light of marked increases in threats against healthcare workers; federally reported as five times more likely than for employees in all other industries. “These programs allow for quick action in the heat of the moment,” she said.
Hayes and Erickson advise others to research and educate themselves on the best practices, engage and include community partners and adjust the plan to best fit the organization.
“Reagon Worthington from IHA ServiShare Services also congratulated the team on this award. “Greene County Medical Center has dedicated itself to providing a safe and welcoming environment for their staff, patients and visitors. It’s this dedication to safety that makes Greene County Medical Center a leader in workplace violence protection.”