#HAVhope Friday Shines a Light on Work to End Workplace Violence | $name

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#HAVhope Friday Shines a Light on Work to End Workplace Violence

Thu, Jun 6, 2024  -  Comments (0)  -   Posted by The Center for Health Affairs

Today marks the eighth annual #HAVhope Friday. Founded by the American Hospital Association (AHA), Hospitals Against Violence (HAV) Day unites hospitals, health systems, nurses, doctors and other health professionals across the country as well as the local and national organizations they work with, to combat violence through the use of digital media.

Encouraging the use of the hashtag HAVhope, AHA hopes the social media support and awareness serves as a visual demonstration that the healthcare community stands together and with others in the community, against violence in our workplaces and communities. This year’s #HAVhope shines a spotlight on the SAVE Act (H.R. 2584/S. 2768), bipartisan legislation to protect healthcare workers from workplace violence.


What is the Hospitals Against Violence Initiative?

The AHA’s HAV initiative was created in 2016 in recognition of the growing public health threat posed by workplace violence. The initiative exists as a way to share best practices and examples about workplace and community violence and how to best prevent it.

HAV supports AHA members and the healthcare field as they work to combat workplace and community violence by:

HAV's work is guided by the building a Safe Workplace and Community Framework, displayed in the graph below, which identifies four necessary areas that hospital and health system leaders should consider as they address issues of violence in their workplaces. These areas include mitigate risk, trauma support, culture of safety, and violence intervention.

Every year, AHA celebrates #HAVhope day by enhancing public awareness through their social media campaign, developing tools and resources and sharing the best practices of member hospitals and health systems. HAV supports AHA members in addressing all types of workplace violence and community violence in their organizations and in their communities.


To view AHA's advocacy efforts surrounding workplace violence, please click here.


Violence Against Healthcare Workers is on the Rise

Did you know that healthcare workers are five times more likely to be victims of violence in the workplace than any other profession? Studies indicate that in the last two years, 44% of nurses reported being subject to physical violence and 68% reported verbal abuse.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of injuries from violent attacks against medical professionals grew by 63% from 2011 to 2018. Violence against healthcare workers was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Information compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that healthcare workers — particularly nurses —are at a far higher risk of workplace violence compared to most other professions. Within the private sector, from 2016 to 2020, there were 207 deaths due to violence in the workplace in the healthcare and social assistance industry.


In 2020, healthcare and social assistance workers overall had an incidence rate of 10.3 (out of 10,000 full-time workers) for injuries resulting from assaults and violent acts by other persons. The rate for nursing and personal care facility workers was 21.8.


Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) ACT

The recently introduced H.R. 2584/S. 2768 — also known as The SAVE Act — would provide similar protections to those that aircraft and airport employees currently have, including fines and imprisonment for those who physically attack healthcare workers and interfere with the performance of their duties.


In addition to establishing new criminal offense for knowingly assaulting or intimidating hospital personnel, the SAVE Act will also authorize $5 million in grants to reduce the incidence of violence at hospitals, including violence or intimidation against hospital personnel in the performance of their duties.


The AHA and nearly 40 organizations support the bipartisan bill and are actively advocating for its passage using social media and other media. The passing of the bill would be a massive victory in healthcare worker protection and a big step in the right direction to achieving a workplace environment that is safe and free from fear.


Aisha Terry, M.D., president of the American College of Emergency Physicians and associate professor of emergency medicine and health policy at George Washington University School of Medicine, explains in the video below how protecting healthcare workers from violence by supporting the SAVE Act will help improve workforce challenges and sustain quality care for patients.



Workplace violence harms healthcare workers, and many suffer from both physical and psychological trauma after an incident. Learn how some AHA member hospitals are working to ensure a safe workplace, here.

Local Hospital Strategies to Keep Workers Safe

In the Cleveland area, many hospitals now provide training in de-escalation, giving staff tools to manage tense situations and diffuse conflict. A variety of other a strategies are also in use.

For example, Cleveland Clinic Center for Connected Care (CCC), which is comprised of Home Care, Home Hospice, Home Infusion Pharmacy and Home Respiratory Therapy, has collaborated with Cleveland Clinic Protective Services to issue a mobile panic device to in-home caregivers. 911Cellular was selected as the vendor of choice and pairs with the caregiver iPhone StaySafe Application. 

911Cellular allows caregivers to wear a panic alarm discreetly, and when triggered, it dispatches the Cleveland Clinic and local police directly to the caregiver's location. After a successful pilot in 2023, CCC started to issue panic devices to all field-based caregivers. By year end of 2024, there will be over 450 devices distributed, in addition to being provided to all new caregivers.

Hospital emergency departments have always been stressful places but some now feel like a powder keg. University Hospitals has taken several steps to lower the temperature and keep caregivers safe. UH is implementing an evidence-based workplace violence training program, endorsed by the Ohio Hospital Association, called Hospital Assault Response and Prevention Training. UH will train all patient-facing caregivers annually. Weapons detection systems have been installed at two emergency departments with plans to add additional units in all emergency departments and other main points of entry. UH’s Violence Interrupter program not only helps lower rates of violence throughout the community by working with victims of violent crime, it also identifies patients at a higher risk for violence and connects them with counseling, trauma-informed care and other social services.

Ready to Learn More About Preventing Workplace Violence? 

AHA provides several related resources on its website.

Violence Mitigation in a Culture of Safety

This AHA brief examines hospital violence mitigation efforts and how they can fit into an organization’s culture of safety strategy. The brief also includes provoking questions intended to inspire conversations on how violence mitigation can be integrated seamlessly into the larger framework of patient and worker safety initiatives, supporting an overall culture of safety. Read the brief here.


Mitigating the Risk of Violence

The HAV initiative hosted the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management for a facilitated dialogue to explore challenges and current strategies to mitigate the risk of violence. This discussion fostered an exchange of ideas and solutions that informed this issue brief and accompanying case studies. Learn more, here.


Providing Trauma Support to Your Workforce Following an Incident or Threat of Violence

This issue brief examines trauma support for hospital and health system team members. It was developed from discussions the HAV Advisory Group had with the Medical University of South Carolina’s National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center team about the challenges and opportunities to provide trauma support to healthcare workers following an incident or threat of violence. Learn more, here.


Each year, #HAVhope reaches more users on social media, spreading the message that the healthcare field is united against violence. To show your support and learn more, visit the AHA website, use #HAVhope to express your support for the SAVE Act, and tell Congress why they need to act without delay to protect our healthcare workforce from violence.


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