CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - During Tom Mihaljevic’s annual State of the Clinic address, the Cleveland Clinic CEO said violent incidents against caregivers are a nationwide problem.
“There is a national epidemic of violence against health care workers, especially in emergency departments,” Mihaljevic stated on Wednesday.
The Cleveland Clinic hospital system is no exception, according to Mihaljevic.
“Last year alone, nearly 30,000 weapons were confiscated from patients and visitors,” he said.
The statistic is startling, but according to a Cleveland Clinic spokesperson, it is even more surprising to hear that those confiscations were for the Northeast Ohio facilities only.
The majority of those weapons confiscated included knives, box cutters, tools, and mace. Only 17 guns across the Cleveland Clinic’s Northeast Ohio system were seized for the entire 2018.
There are over 200 Cleveland Clinic hospitals and outpatient locations worldwide, including facilities in Cleveland, Florida, Canada, England, and the United Arab Emirates. Approximately 2 million patients were cared for in 2018.
A survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians found that 47 percent of emergency physicians polled reported being physically assaulted. The majority of those assaults on physicians were reportedly by patients or visitors in patient rooms.
To ensure the safety of Cleveland Clinic employees and patients, the hospital system has put more safety measures into effect.
- Increased police presence
- Panic buttons have been added to employee badges
- Metal detectors have been installed at every emergency room entrance
- A police escort to parking areas can be requested
“We are committed to protecting each other, just as we protect our patients and just as we protect and care for our organization and its resources,” Mihaljevic said.