Joint HQIC 4-Part Series: Workplace Violence Prevention

Resource Location:

Prepared by the HQIC collaborative group (IPRO, Alliant, Compass, and Telligen)

Defined as “violent acts, including physical assaults and threats of assault, directed toward persons at work or on duty,” workplace violence (WPV) is a growing concern.1 An April 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics Fact Sheet revealed that healthcare workers accounted for 73% of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses due to violence in 2018. This number has been steadily growing since tracking these specific events began in 2011.2

Now, it is time to act!
Why Now? According to OSHA (2016)3, workplace violence rates among healthcare workers between 1993 and 2009 were 20% higher than that for other industries. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the factors leading to workplace violence, such as staffing shortages leading to a decrease in the amount of staffed (available) beds, a high workload causing stressed staff, and frustrated patients and families who feel as though their needs are not being met. A memo to State Survey Agency Directors dated November 28, 2022, states CMS’ continued enforcement of regulatory expectations that patients and staff have an environment that prioritizes their safety while effectively delivering healthcare.2 To effectively maintain a safe environment for healthcare delivery, hospitals can develop policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of workplace violence.


The HQIC collaborative group consisting of Alliant, Compass, IPRO and Telligen appreciates your interest in the Workplace Violence Prevention series. Access event materials here:

Part 1:  Workplace Violence Prevention (WPV): Best Practices for Safer Care

  • WPV is defined as an act or threat occurring at the workplace from physical and verbal assaults.
  • 2020 Bureau of Labor Fact Sheet found that health care workers accounted for 73% of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illness due to violence in 2018.
  • WPV prevention takes more than security.  Requires commitment from organizational leadership, interdisciplinary, collaboration and allocation of resources.
  • It is an investment in our workforce not a cost.

SLIDES.

Part 2:   Key Components of an Effective Workplace Violence Prevention Program: Leadership Engagement and Communication

  • Workplace violence is more than a written Policy, it is a series of action steps that serve as a foundational guide for educating staff and acting quickly in an emergency.
  • Communication is critical. WPV prevention policies must be communicated to patients and families in a way that is non-threatening, clear, concise and at the appropriate reading level.   
  • The way an organization addresses WPV AFTER an event (debriefing, counseling, performance improvement action plan) is just as important as how your organization responds during the event.
  • Leadership is a partnership. At the heart of all good policies, procedure, and programs is good two-way communication. Find what’s missing by including all perspectives.

SLIDES.

Part 3:   Uncovering Unconscious Bias for Safer Healthcare Interactions

  • Unconscious bias affects healthcare interactions and can lead to poor, inequitable outcomes.
  • Self-reflection is crucial for bias identification and improvement.
  • De-escalation must be a priority to promote safe, healing environments.
  • Organizations must implement training, diversity initiatives, reporting mechanisms, and community engagement to address and mitigate bias in healthcare.

SLIDES.