VHHA releases statement on recent violence against healthcare providers and workplace safety efforts

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) released a statement on Wednesday regarding recent episodes of violence affecting hospitals and healthcare providers who are at increased risk of workplace violence. , as well as ongoing workplace safety initiatives led by hospitals.

The statement highlights recent examples of violence in U.S. hospitals that have resulted in tragic loss of life, with national data showing that health care providers are at high risk for workplace violence compared to d other industries, and recounts the steps Virginia hospitals and health care stakeholders have taken and continue to take.

These steps include:

  • Efforts by Virginia hospitals, nurses, and other stakeholders to working successfully with the Virginia General Assembly in 2019 to strengthen protections for healthcare workers in the performance of their work making it a class 1 misdemeanor to threaten to kill or harm them while providing care in a hospital, emergency department or other clinical setting.
  • Establishment in March 2020 of a VHHA Occupational Safety Task Force to determine a statewide employee injury baseline measure, identify and monitor potential opportunities for improvement and establish best practice recommendations. The working group’s ongoing work includes a sub-group dedicated to workplace violence.
  • In April 2022, in recognition of National Workplace Violence Awareness Month, VHHA shared with its members a Comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit with information on applicable state laws, general information on the subject, and step-by-step guidelines to help organizations develop, implement, evaluate, and maintain workplace violence prevention programs.
  • This month, VHHA is hosting a Workplace Violence Program Webinar June 16 from noon to 1 p.m., with presentations from representatives of two Virginia health systems (UVA Health and VCU Health) on the structure of the workplace violence reduction programs they have implemented in these organizations to support and protect employees.
  • And later this year, an in-person task force workshop focused on creating safer work environments will be hosted by the Association. Each of these examples are part of the ongoing efforts of Virginia hospitals and health systems to keep hospitals safe places of health and healing for all who visit them.

The full statement can be read online here.

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