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Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Feb;19(2):125-33. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2008.10.009.

Hospital employee assault rates before and after enactment of the california hospital safety and security act.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA. ccasteel@email.unc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study examines changes in violent event rates to hospital employees before and after enactment of the California Hospital Safety and Security Act in 1995.

METHODS:

We compared pre- and post-initiative employee assault rates in California (n = 116) emergency departments and psychiatric units with those in New Jersey (n = 50), where statewide workplace violence initiatives do not exist. Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations was used to compare assault rates between a 3-year pre-enactment period (1993-1995) and a 6-year post-enactment period (1996-2001) using New Jersey hospitals as a temporal control.

RESULTS:

Assault rates among emergency department employees decreased 48% in California post-enactment, compared with emergency department employee assault rates in New Jersey (rate ratio [RR] = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.31, 0.90). Emergency department employee assault rates decreased in smaller facilities (RR = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.96) and for-profit-controlled hospitals (RR = 0.39, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.79) post-enactment. Among psychiatric units, for-profit-controlled hospitals (RR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.85) and hospitals located in smaller communities (RR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.92) experienced decreased assault rates post-enactment.

CONCLUSION:

Policy may be an effective method to increase safety to health care workers.

PMID:
19185807
DOI:
10.1016/j.annepidem.2008.10.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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