Corporate Counsel: Violent Patients Could Increase Liability Risk, Fines for Health Care Providers

May 08, 2019

Health care institutions should have strong systems in place to mitigate the risks that dangerous patients can pose to their caregivers, according to counsel Sloane Ackerman.

It is important for health officials to anticipate the possibility of violence and ensure that caregivers are dealing with patients on an individual level, Ackerman says. For example, when employees are treating a potentially violent person, she advises institutions to provide thorough intake processes, maintain good records, and maybe even implement a “buddy system” prohibiting employees from being alone with patients.

Ackerman also recommends that employers ask for information from front-line employees. “You should get input from the people who work there about the risks and threats they’ve faced so that everyone knows about the patient who may have a propensity for violence,” Ackerman said.