We’ve had plans to change how we think about security at the Hospital for the last several months.  Our careful planning and organizing is paying off- as we’ve implemented many of our plans already and are turning the key on other reforms in the coming weeks and months.  It’s definitely been a busy place at the State Hospital these days- and we’re excited about the enormous progress.  Kudos to the entire team at the Hospital.

The reorganization of the security department basically increases mental health and residential program staff while decreasing security staff on the hospital units.  Our mental health and residential program staff are supplementing existing unit folks so security staff can step back from patient/resident observation and intervention responsibilities and focus on access and customer service duties.  These renamed “Campus Support and Safety Specialists” put an emphasis on a safe and supportive environment, something we’re striving to achieve for patients, residents, staff and visitors. 

We’re also shifting to “Non-Violent Crisis Intervention” as our operational model. Non-Violent Crisis Intervention is a nationally recognized best practice for intervention and de-escalation (created by the Crisis Prevention Institute). It’s widely used by health care providers, schools and many other settings that deal with potentially violent situations.  The program is based on teamwork.  By using a cohesive team that’s fully engaged in all aspects of care, we can better create an environment that is therapeutic for patients/residents and safe for everyone while providing employees a rewarding environment in which to work. 

Twenty-five staff have completed Non-Violent Crisis Intervention instructor training. Our new instructors are wearing yellow lanyards that say “NVCI Instructor” so everybody knows they’re our trainers.  The next goal is to train all employees in these valuable techniques in order to replace the current Pro-Act model that’s been in place for years.  The instructors are meeting regularly and will begin developing the “roll-out” strategy for the campus wide training.  A special thanks to our trainers-  they’ve stepped up and made themselves available to make the hospital a better place.

P.S. We found out this month that The Joint Commission has fully accredited the State Hospital for the next 3 years.  Thanks to the entire Hospital team- it’s not easy to get Deemed Status from the Joint Commission.  Well done!