HAP’s Achievement Award Spotlight: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center > Hospital Association of Pennsylvania


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HAP’s Achievement Award Spotlight: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

August 21, 2019

With a goal of reducing the growing rate of assaults on hospital staff, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center leadership and front line staff tackled the issue on various fronts, including focused education, a campaign of employee awareness, and multiple interprofessional workgroups.

The medical center established a behavioral de-escalation response team consisting of staff from nursing, security, and pastoral services and developed a process for identifying and responding to patients and visitors in crisis:

  • A staff member identifies a patient, family member, or visitor who is exhibiting escalating behavior and activates the response team through the hospital operator
  • The response team joins the staff member at the point of crisis and huddles away from the person showing signs of escalation
  • A plan to de-escalate the patient is developed and then implemented at the bedside

Each call is tracked and reviewed to ensure effectiveness, identify causal themes, and assess that resources were appropriately utilized.

The medical center has seen a dramatic decrease in harm events towards staff, from 41 harm events during September 2018 to only 11 harm events during January 2019.

Congratulations to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for its successful program to prevent workplace violence through the conception and implementation of a behavioral de-escalation response team and for winning a 2019 HAP Achievement Award.

The medical center team will be presenting this work during a breakout session at HAP’s 2019 Patient Safety, Quality, and Sepsis Symposium, September 23–24 in Lancaster. Register to attend the symposium today and learn more about this winning project.

Addressing workplace safety issues remains a top priority for HAP. The association supports and is working to advance several important state bills that would improve health care worker safety.

Additional information about this work as well as other 2019 award-winning programs at HAP’s website.

Questions about the HAP Achievement Awards may be directed to HAP Member Services at (717) 561-5359.

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