Safety Initiatives Sees Drop in Workplace Violence

Workplace violence has dropped after employee reports of feeling unsafe at work.

By Mackenna Moralez, Associate Editor

Violence in the workplace has surged in recent years, and the healthcare industry is not exempt from this.  

Healthcare workers are four times more likely to experience verbal or physical abuse while on the job compared to any other industry. According to a study by Vivian, 47 percent of respondents said they have experienced workplace violence against themselves or one of their coworkers in 2023, with 77 percent of the incidents being perpetuated by the patient themselves and 41 percent being a member of the patient’s family. Still, that number could be even higher as many incidents go unreported.  

While acts of violence dropped in 2023 compared to 2022, 42 percent of respondents still said they felt unsafe at work. More healthcare facilities have begun implementing safety protocols to best protect their staff. For example, Southwestern Vermont Healthcare has created a new policy that is widely posted throughout its campus prohibiting acts of abuse against its employees. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic has implemented a system to flag patients with a history of violence.  

Related: Cleveland Clinic Implements Flagging System for Violence Prevention: Study

The American Hospital Association shared eight components that can help create a safer culture: 

  1. Leadership 
  2. Effective communication 
  3. Education and training 
  4. Reporting and data collection 
  5. Trust and respect 
  6. Collaboration with law enforcement 
  7. Partnering with community-based organizations 
  8. Health equity 

Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor of the facilities market.  

May 21, 2024

Topic Area: Safety

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