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Protecting Emergency Department Workers and Patients From Assault

Violence in Hospitals Is On The Rise

While hospitals are inherently considered places where people go for help and healing, they’re also where some individuals direct their anger and aggression. Unfortunately, incidents of violence are on the rise in hospitals, and healthcare providers working in emergency departments are most at risk of experiencing violence at work. 

In fact, according to one study, 70% of Emergency Department nurses report having been hit or kicked while on the job. You’d be correct if that seems like an outsized portion of the healthcare workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that “serious incidents of workplace violence” are five times more likely to occur in a hospital setting than in any other profession, a number that has increased in recent years. Alarmingly, Campus Safety Magazine reports that from 2020 to 2021, there was a 47% increase in violent incidents – including murder, robberies, aggravated assaults, and rapes – in hospitals. 

The cause of these violent encounters may differ. In some instances, it may be that patients who are confused or irritable due to medications are lashing out at caretakers. In others, it could be that family members of patients are reacting to situations where they feel they haven’t received the care or treatment they deserve. Workplace disputes or domestic violence incidents that have spilled over to the workplace are also responsible for a number of some of the most dangerous situations.

Constant Surveillance and Reliable Communication Can Help Prevent or Contain Dangerous Situations

Regardless of the cause of these violent situations, a healthcare facility’s best offense is a good defense. Security personnel with a 360°, birds-eye view of the facility will be able to identify potentially dangerous situations and either prevent, de-escalate, or contain them in an effort to protect patients, visitors, and healthcare facility employees.


Strategically placed, high-definition surveillance cameras allow security teams to remotely monitor the most high-traffic areas inside and outside the Emergency Department, including parking lots, reception and waiting areas, and the hallways outside patient rooms. Avigilon Cameras and Control Center, equipped with Unusual Motion Control Detection, will automatically alert security personnel as a vehicle driving erratically enters the parking lot outside of the Emergency Department.


Security teams will monitor the individual remotely via the Avigilon Security Cameras and Control Center. The high-definition camera will clearly capture an image of the individual’s features and will allow the security team to see that they are armed and have a weapon drawn.


Images of the individual and updates on their specific location will be immediately sent as alerts across radios and smartphones using WAVE PTX PTT. All available security personnel will be on the lookout for the individual and will work to prevent further ingress to the building.


Meanwhile, local police will be directly alerted with video to have maximum situational awareness. Motorola Solutions’ Ally Incident Management, CommandCentral, and Critical Connect will automatically populate the incident report with images, video clips, time and location stamps, and pertinent information from security personnel so that first responders have all the information required to inform their response. Post-event, the data will be helpful for investigative and prosecutorial purposes.

About MCA

MCA is one of the largest and most trusted integrators in the United States, offering world-class voice, data, and security solutions that enhance the quality, safety, and productivity of customers, operations, and lives.

More than 65,000 customers trust MCA to provide carefully researched solutions for a safe, secure, and more efficient workplace. As your trusted advisor, we reduce the time and effort needed to research, install, and maintain the right solutions to improve your workplace. 

Our team of certified professionals across the United States delivers a full suite of reliable technologies with a service-first approach. The MCA advantage is our extensive service portfolio to support the solution lifecycle from start to finish.

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