Lancaster Physician Fall 2020 - 10

L A N C A S T E R M E D I C A L S O C I E T Y.O R G

Best Practices

S

ometimes a patient in the hospital gets confused, disoriented, or very
angry. Sometimes that patient yells, gets aggressive, and threatens
nurses or other staff.

Curbing
Workplace
Violence
When a behavioral health emergency
happens at a WellSpan hospital, an
award-winning team responds

WellSpan has launched a new system called the Behavioral Emergency Response Team, or BERT, to respond to those types of crisis situations
in its hospitals. The program, which was designed by nurses, assembles a team
of employees-who have undergone crisis intervention training from experienced WellSpan Philhaven staff-to respond to emergencies. The team then
works together to de-escalate situations to keep patients and employees safe.
The innovative program won a Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania's Achievement Award, earning the 2020 Optimal
Operations Award.
WellSpan has a BERT at all its hospitals in Lancaster, Lebanon, York, and
Adams counties and will add teams to its Franklin County hospitals next
year. WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital launched its BERT in January.
"I look at it as an opportunity to redesign our approach to workplace
violence," said Christy Kreider, nurse manager of behavioral health services
at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital. "It's an avenue for intervention
that staff can choose. The idea is to avoid restrains or medications and instead
verbally de-escalate and intervene."

LANCASTER

10

PHYSICIAN



Lancaster Physician Fall 2020

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