Cleveland Clinic Implements Flagging System for Violence Prevention: Study

The system flags patients with a history of violence.

By Jeff Wardon, Jr., Assistant Editor


In response to rising violence in healthcare facilities, the Cleveland Clinic implemented a system to flag patients with a history of violence, aiming for transparent communication while avoiding bias, according to a study from Epic. The clinic uses a standardized process to evaluate risks and provide support to staff encountering potentially violent situations. This approach led to a decrease in workplace violence reports and an increase in staff seeking assistance for managing challenging behaviors.  

The study recommends organizations involve experts trained in trauma-informed and equitable care to develop similar systems, prioritizing less intrusive interventions initially and understanding patients' underlying issues. 

In a similar light, the American Hospital Association’s Hospitals Against Violence (HAV) initiative recommended risk and threat assessments in a 2023 case study that focused on mitigating workplace violence. 

Related: Perceptions of Healthcare Safety Are Mixed: Report

Risk assessments are conducted through gathering information on the incidence of violence in certain demographics, whereas threat assessments are the process of gathering information to determine the potential for violence.  

Working in tandem, a risk assessment provides a full understanding of the present risks, and the threat assessment looks at them to determine what kind of threat they pose. Once these assessments are completed, mitigation of said risks can begin by putting in place plans like a workplace violence prevention program. 

Whether it is how the Cleveland Clinic tackles violence or the recommendations the HAV laid out, preventing violence in healthcare workspaces requires a culture of safety and a system to assess and report violence. 

Jeff Wardon, Jr. is the assistant editor for the facilities market. 



April 18, 2024


Topic Area: Safety


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