The COVID-19 pandemic caused extensive stress across our healthcare system, leading to fewer resources, workforce shortages, exhaustion, burnout, and increasing rates of violence against healthcare workers. The American Hospital Association (AHA) found that 44% of nurses reported an increase in physical violence since the pandemic, and 68% reported an increase in verbal abuse.
Becker’s Hospital Review reported that 9 in 10 healthcare workers have witnessed or experienced violence in the workplace and a Press Ganey report suggested that more than two nurses were assaulted every hour in Q2 2022.
The numbers are alarming, and the consequences to the healthcare system are severe. Not only does violence in the healthcare workplace cause physical and psychological harm, but when clinicians and medical personnel are afraid for their safety, it makes it more difficult to provide quality patient care. In addition, violence at healthcare facilities takes up valuable resources that can delay urgent care for other patients. It also lowers patient satisfaction and employee productivity and increases the potential for adverse medical events.
Research has shown that healthcare industry violence often occurs during times of high activity and interaction with patients. For example, assaults may occur when service is denied, when a patient is admitted against their will, or when a healthcare worker attempts to set limits on eating, drinking, or smoking. As we’ve seen in recent months, violence can also be random in nature.
Although anyone working in a hospital or healthcare facility can become a victim of violence, doctors, nurses and all other staff involved in patient care are at the highest risk. Safety for healthcare workers is critical, and feeling safe in the workplace is a crucial element in creating a comfortable and healing environment for all.
Although there is not one single solution, there are ways to minimize risk. Workplace safety training can help increase worker and employer awareness of the risk factors for violence in healthcare facilities and provide strategies for reducing exposure, including how to defuse potentially dangerous situations and keeping themselves and others safe. All employers should have a Workplace Violence Prevention Safety Training Program in place to help prevent potential violent injuries in healthcare facilities.
Want to learn more about workplace violence prevention training? Ask the experts at MedSafe.
MedSafe is the nation’s leading one-stop resource for outsourced accreditation and healthcare compliance solutions. For over 20 years, we have been providing peace of mind to hospital groups, private practices, and their business associates. Our suite of onsite and online training, mock audits, and support services for OSHA, HIPAA, Corporate Compliance and Code Auditing better equip your practice with the necessary tools and skills to achieve and maintain regulatory billing compliance. MedSafe takes a hands-on approach and works directly with your team to uncover issues and define suitable solutions.
Learn more about MedSafe’s programs and services at www.medsafe.com or 888-MEDSAFE.