HAP Resource Center

Case Study: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center 2019 HAP Achievement Award

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Awarded for:  Preventing Workplace Violence: The Conception and Implementation of a Behavioral De-escalation Response Team

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Large Organizations

Clinical Team at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterThe goal:  Reduce the rate of assaults on nursing staff by creating a 24-hour, seven-days- a-week, behavioral de-escalation response team.

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.

Results:  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.



Topics: Quality Initiatives, Workforce

Revision Date: 9/1/2019

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