Assessing the pharmacy workforce's preparedness for a workplace violence event

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American journal of health-system pharmacy


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PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to describe the planning, implementation, and findings of a person with a weapon exercise for an inpatient pharmacy department.

SUMMARY: There has been an increased focus on workplace violence in healthcare within the last few years. The health-system pharmacy workforce should take an active role in planning for workplace violence events by completing a risk assessment analysis and performing tabletop and functional exercises. This study provides an example of how health-system pharmacists collaborated with an emergency management team, security, and communications to carry out a person with a weapon exercise in an inpatient hospital pharmacy. Areas for improvement were identified for pharmacy, communications, and security during education sessions and the tabletop and functional exercises, demonstrating the importance of a multidisciplinary approach when planning for a person with a weapon event. As a result of this exercise, there was increased awareness of the "run, hide, fight" tactic, an increase in workplace violence education and staff awareness, and an enhancement of security measures, including technology improvements.

CONCLUSION: This workplace violence exercise provides an example of how the pharmacy workforce can engage in emergency preparedness planning and risk mitigation for a workplace violence event. Other health systems can use the action plan, findings, and improvements to raise awareness and train about workplace violence events and support the safety of the pharmacy workforce.

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ePub ahead of print