UnityPoint Health-Meriter, Madison, 2023 Workforce Report

Meaningful Protections and Actions

Over recent years, health care organizations across the country have seen an increase in violence aimed at health care workers. At UnityPoint Health-Meriter, creating a safe environment for all is our priority. No one tactic can solve this issue, therefore, we have enacted several initiatives to prevent, mitigate and cope with workplace violence, including:   

  • Safety and Security Checklist: This planning tool and checklist for team members helps identify the safest practices for the patient and staff. The document also includes individualized guidance for de-escalation.  

  • Visitor Agreements: This signed document helps set expectations that protect our staff and patients from undue harm by placing conditions on visitors.   

  • Brøset Checklist & Violence Flags: Special assessments have been added to better predict and reduce violence so that we can better support our patients and team members.  

  • Visitor Management: Our patient visitor policy and program helps ensure we successfully track and manage who is allowed access to our facilities.  

  • Security Design: In recent years we have made multiple physical security improvements, including securing more entrances and buildings and creating safer workspaces.  

  • Security Team Excellence: Our Security Team members are specially trained, participate as members of the healthcare team, and make unique efforts to foster safety with patients and team members, all while focusing on violence prevention, de-escalation and problem-solving.  

  • External Partnerships: We have strong relationships with local law enforcement agencies to help ensure we have the support we need in all our facilities.    

  • Workplace Violence Training: De-escalation and problem-solving courses are available to team members at all locations through our online training software.  

  • Provider Services: UnityPoint Health offers a variety of resources to ensure the health and wellness of our clinicians, including coaching sessions, tools and support to deal with feelings of burnout and team synergy for struggling teams.  

  • Building Resilience: We offer our team members Community Resilience Model Training which teaches ways to utilize emotional strength and coping mechanisms in an effective way when dealing with difficult circumstances in work or personal life.   

  • Free Mental Health Support: Team members are encouraged to take advantage of free virtual, ad-hoc, confidential mental health support whenever needed.  

  • Code Lavenders: These debrief events support team members who went through a traumatic work event.   

  • Trauma Paddles: Led by a clinical therapist, we held staff kayak outings to provide therapeutic time in nature for the teams to talk, reflect and heal after dealing with workplace trauma.     

  • Communications Campaign: UnityPoint Health developed a Workplace Violence Prevention campaign that encourages patients and visitors to be kind and respect our team members. Messages are displayed in our facilities, as well as through external channels like radio and social media.