Building a Workplace Violence Program: An Introduction

Credits: 1

Course Description

 The statistics are alarming:

  • Almost 75% of all workplace assaults between 2011 and 2013 happened in health care settings;
  • 80% of emergency medical workers will experience violence during their careers;
  • 78% of emergency department physicians nationwide report being the target of workplace violence in the past year;
  • 100% of emergency department nurses report verbal assault, and 82.1% report physical assault during the last year;
  • 40% of psychiatrists report physical assault;
  • The rate of workplace violence among psychiatric aides is 69 times higher than the national rate of workplace violence;
  • 61% of home health-care workers report violence annually; and
  • Family physicians are also at high risk, although limited data exist in the outpatient setting.
Health care providers and staff in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care settings face significant risks of workplace violence, which can refer to any physical or verbal assault toward a person in a work environment. Violence in health care facilities takes many forms and has different origins, such as verbal threats or physical attacks by patients, gang violence in an emergency department (ED), and a distraught family member who may be abusive or even become an active shooter, a domestic dispute that spills over into the workplace, coworker bullying, and much more.
Workplace violence comes with a high cost. First and foremost, it harms workers—often both physically and emotionally—and makes it more difficult for them to do their jobs. Employers also bear several costs. A single serious injury can lead to workers’ compensation losses of thousands of dollars, along with thousands of dollars in additional costs for overtime, temporary staffing, or recruiting and training a replacement. Even if a worker does not have to miss work, violence can still lead to hidden costs, such as higher turnover and deterioration of productivity and morale.
This one-hour webinar will help define workplace violence, the risk factors specific to health care, and strategies you can develop to deal with them.
Best suited for hospital and clinic administrators and managers involved in the care and interaction of patients, families, and coworkers. Physician and clinical staff can also participate.

 Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Preventing Workplace Violence: A Road Map for Healthcare Facilities, U.S. Dept. of Labor, December 1, 2015, accessed May 25, 2016,

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, you should be able to:
  • Define the four types of workplace violence.
  • List the four components of mitigating and preventing violence in the workplace.
  • List one strategy you will employ to make your workplace safer for patients and staff.

Faculty Information 

Leslie Moore, RN, JD, CPHRM, Senior Healthcare Risk Management Consultant, Physicians Insurance,
Spokane, WA
Laurie Raleigh – Senior Healthcare Risk Management Consultant, Physicians Insurance, Portland, OR
Anne Flitcroft – Senior Healthcare Risk Management Consultant, Physicians Insurance, Coos Bay, OR
Cryss. Toycen – CME Specialist, Physicians Insurance, Seattle, WA
Mesina McMurray – Content Development Project Manager, Physicians Insurance, Seattle, WA
Neil Vasquez-Solis – Risk Management Education Assistant, Physicians Insurance, Seattle, WA

Original release: August 2016
Last reviewed: August 2017
Expiration: August 2019

CME Information
This CME activity was planned and produced in accordance with the ACCME Essentials.
Category 1 credit is applicable throughout the United States.
Estimated time to complete this activity: 1 hour

Physicians in Washington State who complete this course will fulfill the risk management education requirement mandated by the Washington Health Services Act of 1993.

Physicians Insurance/Experix is accredited by the Washington State Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Physicians Insurance/Experix designates this Internet enduring activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
This activity meets the criteria for up to 1 hour of Category I CME credit to satisfy the relicensure requirements of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

All faculty, planning and peer-review group members have certified that neither they nor their spouses/partners have, nor have had within the health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients, with the exemption of non-profit or government organizations and non-health care related companies.

Resolution of Conflicts of Interest
Physicians Insurance/Experix has implemented a process to resolve conflicts of interest for each continuing medical education activity to help ensure content objectivity, independence, fair balance, and content that is aligned with the interest of the public. Conflicts, if any, are resolved through a peer-review process.

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