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Hendrick implements initiative to provide a place of healing and mutual respect

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Hendrick implements initiative to provide a place of healing and mutual respect

Texas lawmakers initiated earlier this year measures to address violence in healthcare settings, and Hendrick Health welcomes the support of promoting safe facilities for staff, patients and visitors.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 840, which enhances the penalty for assaulting a healthcare worker in the workplace from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. The previous month, he signed SB 240 requiring healthcare facilities to establish a workplace prevention committee that develops policies and a plan of action for preventing and responding to violent incidents.

While Hendrick Health created a workplace violence committee long before legislation on the matter was proposed, the committee recently installed new signage in its facilities to encourage civil conduct. The signs reiterate the message that these medical facilities are a place of healing and mutual respect and that aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.

“Hendrick Health sets a high standard for its employees to be honorable and respectful in the workplace, and the new signs are reminders to patients and visitors that respectful behavior is expected,” said Susan Wade, vice president and Abilene market chief operating officer for Hendrick Health. “Our staff is invaluable, and ensuring their safety daily is paramount.”

A report published by Press Ganey found that more than two nurses were assaulted in the United States every hour in the second quarter of 2022, equating to approximately 57 assaults per day. A gradual uptick in workplace violence in healthcare settings in the last several years markedly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the American Hospital Association.

Hendrick Health’s new signage lists seven activities that can lead to an individual being removed from the property and possibly prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law:

• No discriminatory language.
• No threatening behavior.
• No physical assault.
• No sexual harassment.
• No illegal drugs.
• No weapons.
• No unauthorized videos or photos.

“While there is a low tolerance for such activities, there are allowances for violent or threatening behavior connected to mental illness and other rare circumstances,” said Wade. “We want to protect not only our staff, but also other patients and visitors, who sometimes include children.”