A Change in Culture: Violence Prevention in an Acute Behavioral Health Setting

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A multilayered implementation of safety measures in an inpatient psychiatric facility created a sustained change in culture related to patient and staff safety. The model was developed over a 5-year period in a freestanding 80-bed behavioral health facility that is part of a Level II trauma center in the Midwest. The model has nine components that the nursing leadership team saw as integral to maintaining a safe environment. The nine elements include trauma-informed care principles, aggression management, code event review, leadership involvement, quality feedback, recovery orientation, patient assessment, education, and collaboration. The metrics collected to determine the effectiveness of the model included patient violence events and staff injuries. This article describes the development of this model and its impact on the reduction of patient violence events and staff injuries at this facility. The recommendations include considerations for the replication of this model at other facilities.

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