Patient and staff safety in the practical operation of hospitals


This commentary focuses on a practical discussion of patient and staff safety in the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility. The author first examines the legal provisions on the right to use medical staff against direct coercion, then discusses possible methods of protecting hospitals, trying to present them directly in connection with the July incident at the hospital in Ruda lska. Some of the methods described are just speculation, and their practical implementation undoubtedly depends on the availability of additional financial resources from medical institutions.

Recent events at the Ruda lska hospital, where police shot and killed an aggressive patient, have once again sparked a debate on safety in medical institutions. Unfortunately, in a short time there were several similar events, mainly related to the use or attempt to use violence against doctors – it is enough to mention the beating by a patient of a general practitioner in Slupsk.

Of course, it must be remembered that none of these events led to far-reaching consequences such as the case of Ruda Slaska, where the police had to intervene using weapons. The medical unit that operates the hospital has a clear responsibility to provide an adequate level of safety for its patients, both those in the hospital wards and those who come for tests.

However, this obligation is much broader, as it also applies to all staff – medical and non-medical. Employees of these companies must be confident that they are performing their tasks in a safe environment, and the only risk that may arise is simply the nature of the work in question. The management body of a particular facility is responsible for fulfilling the above obligation and therefore according to its legal form: the board of directors of the company in the case of divisions operating in the form of a joint stock company or the director in the case of independent public health. Therefore, an extremely important question arises, what actions can the health organization itself take to ensure an adequate level of safety for both staff and patients and third parties in the hospital.