Health care employees in the Regina area are seeing an increase of violent incidents involving staff and patients.
According to the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, reports of these cases have nearly doubled – from 224 in the first two quarters of 2015-16, to 416 in the same period of 2016-17.
“It’s a growing problem in our organization — I’d say across the province and probably across all health care systems — increasing violence to staff and also sometimes patient-to-patient violence as well,” said Keith Dewar, the health region’s CEO.
The health region said it’s making a violence prevention plan a priority in the upcoming year. Dewar said it has been in the works for a while, and will focus on efforts to protect staff and patients.
According to the CEO, most of the violence isn’t physical.
“The actual amount of harm that occurs from these incidents isn’t as great as you would think,” he told the CJME Morning Show Friday.
“Much of it is more verbal abuse, and some of the physical abuse isn’t enough to result in an injury that would require staff to be off.”
Dewar said all sites in the health region were assessed as they posed the question where these incidents were increasing and why.
The health region looked at the training staff received and if they had the right tools and resources to approach patients who act out.
It also looked at the conditions around staff and if measures, such as call systems, are in place to protect staff.
Dewar said identifying a patient who might act out is another option they’re considering.
“(To) just be prepared for a different type of response than you might normally get,” Dewar said.
He added staff, patients and family are all represented in the plan, which will be presented March 9.