According to the 2014 Healthcare Crime Survey, commissioned by the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation (IHSSFoundation), heavy violent crimes have spiraled up from 2012 to 2013.

Of those 386 responses, 242 provided usable responses. These 242 hospitals account for:

  • 209,818,780 square feet (including on-campus clinics, research space, medical office buildings, etc.)
  • More than 56,000 hospital beds
  • An average daily census of around 85,000 people

As background, the purpose of the 2014 IHSSFoundation Crime Survey is to provide healthcare security professionals with an understanding of crimes that impact hospitals as well as the frequency of these crimes. “We commissioned this survey to provide healthcare security and safety professionals the data they need to accurately identify the most vulnerable areas of crime and the frequency of these crimes occurring at their facilities. It is the goal of the Foundation to continually research the needs of healthcare security and safety professionals so they may better protect their human, technology and property assets, all the while providing a welcoming, safe and secure environment,” explains IHSSFoundation President Steve Nibbelink. This Crime Survey and other Foundation research projects also help and support the IAHSS in their development of professional training, education, policy and procedures to address healthcare facility current and future needs.

The 2014 IHSSF Crime Survey collected information on ten (10) different types of crimes that were deemed relevant to hospitals and included:

  1. Murder
  2. Rape
  3. Robbery
  4. Aggravated Assault
  5. Assault (Simple)
  6. Disorderly Conduct
  7. Burglary
  8. Theft (Larceny-Theft)
  9. Motor Vehicle Theft
  10. Vandalism

Analysis shows that the violent crime rate per 100 beds increased from 2012 to 2013. While disorderly conduct, theft, and motor vehicle theft decreased, vandalism and burglary slightly increased.

Workplace Violence Types:  Aggravated Assault vs. Simple Assault

Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another or to cause serious bodily injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly, with an extreme indifference to the value of human life. Opposed to aggravated assault, a simple assault is any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury upon the person of another. What this means is, an assault may be committed without actually touching, striking, or doing bodily harm to the person of another. An intentional display of force that would give the other person reason to fear or expect bodily harm constitutes assault.

Of the 242 responses, 68% (n=164) were able to drill down aggravated assaults and assaults for both 2012 and 2013. This is a significant indicator that a great number of hospitals are collecting detailed crime information allowing for such analysis internally. Type 2 Aggravated Assaults accounted for 75% of all aggravated assaults and 93% of all simple assaults. “Hospitals used to be considered a sanctuary, where you saw violence but not a lot of violence. You went there to get help. But as times change, society changes. We are seeing more violence in the world for reasons like access to guns and economic changes. Hospitals are no different,” says Marilyn Hollier, president of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS). Furthermore, she adds, “I believe some of this increase can be attributed to more reporting of assaults to security.  Nurses are getting better at reporting patient assaults to security and not accepting that patient slap, pinch or punch as “part of the job.”