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IAHSS Releases New Guideline for Managing Violent Patients / Patient Visitor Management

On April 24, 2018, the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) released a new industry guideline for dealing with violent patients and violent visitors.  The goal of the guideline is to have healthcare organizations develop proactive policies and practices to mitigate incidences from threatening and violent patients and visitors.

Guideline 05. Services-Patient / 03 Violent Patient/Patient Visitor Management

The guideline begins with the following STATEMENT:

“Violence stemming from patients and patient visitors present considerable risk and concern to the healthcare industry. Healthcare Facilities (HCFs) should establish specific violence prevention and aggression management policies, processes and practices to deter, identify and manage violent events.”

The guideline recommends healthcare facilities use a system of flags to identify and mitigate acts of both verbal and physical intimidation. They include the example below:

IAHSS Flags_1

IAHSS Flags_2

How does the new IAHSS policy effect electronic visitor management systems ? 

The healthcare organization is encouraged to record the flags of known disruptive behavior associated with a patient and their visitors in the electronic health record (HL7 system). If this is done, then it will be extremely beneficial for hospital personnel when registering visitors. When a patient has a flag or their visitor has a flag, a warning displays on the screen in the visitor management system. This will prevent visitors to the violent patient or violent visitors to the patient.

This is just one more reason why hospitals and healthcare facilities should do a thorough review of visitor management system capabilities prior to purchase. Ensuring that the visitor management system has an integration with your HL7 system will help manage both the safety and security of both your visitors and patients.

The text of the new guideline can be accessed by the public for a limited time at, and it is available electronically to IAHSS members via the IAHSS website. Hard copies are published annually and available for sale in the IAHSS online store.

Blog tags: Patient Visitor Management