Workplace violence has long been a problem for hospitals, and it’s an issue that both Hospital Council and the Hospital Quality Institute (HQI) take seriously. It’s only worsened in recent years and has severe consequences for the entire health care system.
According to a 2022 poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians:
- 85% of emergency physicians believe the rate of violence in emergency departments (EDs) has increased over the past five years.
- 66% of assaulted physicians have been assaulted in the past year alone.
- 66% of physicians indicate that COVID-19 has increased the amount of violence in EDs.
Not only does violence cause physical and psychological injury for health care workers, it’s become more difficult for nurses, doctors, and other clinical staff to provide quality patient care. Witnessing violence in health care settings also creates a stressful environment for other patients seeking care.
HQI is taking steps to help manage workplace violence. Earlier today, HQI hosted the Hospital Workplace Violence Regional Leadership Summit to discuss how workplace violence affects hospitals, the key challenges in managing workplace violence, and how to address the issue.
HQI has also developed a white paper: Workplace Violence in Hospitals: Issues, Trends, Prevention, and Response, which provides an overview of the challenges faced by hospitals and outlines the strategies being undertaken by HQI, the California Hospital Association, and the Regional Associations to support member hospitals.
The safety and well-being of health care workers are basic preconditions for delivering safe and effective patient care. Protecting health care employees from workplace violence has been — and will continue to be — a top priority for Hospital Council as we work to ensure a safe environment for all.