Mercy Hospital in Springfield has fired 12 employees for the way they handled what it calls “highly intense situations.”
Mercy says it's stepping up the level of training for workers in those situations.
A spokeswoman would not say what the workers did, or in what department they worked.
In a statement, Mercy pointed to the challenges that health care workers face involving mental health care and drug addictions.
Mercy released the following statement:
As mental health issues and drug addictions rise, health care organizations across the country are facing challenges related to providing a safe environment for patients, visitors and co-workers.
To address these needs, Mercy Hospital Springfield is implementing an expanded program of co-worker training on techniques to de-escalate situations and provide safe and responsible care.
Safety training is standard for Mercy co-workers, but this new training provides an ongoing, higher level of preparation in response to growing needs.
Mercy values guide us to treat our patients and visitors with dignity and compassion, even in highly tense situations.
We recently identified behavior by a small number of staff members involving care of patients in such situations that did not live up to those standards.
Corrective steps have been taken, including the termination of 12 co-workers, to ensure that under all circumstances our patients are treated in a just and caring way while also protecting everyone, including co-workers, from physical harm.
As required by law, we have reported these issues to state and federal regulators.
We are working closely with regulators to secure their input and support for our plan of action.
We also will continually monitor our progress, holding ourselves accountable to deliver the highest level of care and service that Mercy patients deserve.
“As Mercy co-workers, we are called to treat every individual with dignity and respect even in difficult situations that may pose physical risks for ourselves. The actions we have taken, and the new level of training we are implementing, are critical to ensuring that our co-workers have the education and support necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone,” said Brent Hubbard, chief operating officer, Mercy Hospital Springfield.