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Posted by Steve Walsh on Feb 4th, 2021 6:23pm

The following is a post from guest commentator Patricia M. Noga, PhD, RN, FAAN, vice president of clinical affairs at the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA).

Workplace violence in healthcare settings is a longstanding problem that has been surprisingly hard to resolve, yet healthcare leaders are focused on forging ahead to find and implement innovative ways to improve workplace safety for patients and employees.  

The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and our members have developed a step-by-step, comprehensive framework for continuously improving workplace safety throughout hospitals and other affiliated settings. These efforts have already proven to have a positive effect within the walls of healthcare facilities, but much work can still be done both here in Massachusetts and across the country. We are continuing to share our experiences and best practices to offer a roadmap we hope others will follow to make healthcare settings as safe as possible for everyone.

This article,  just published in the journal Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, gives a detailed description of MHA’s work and findings on this important issue, as well as some of the strides Massachusetts hospitals and health systems have taken in addressing workplace violence. Our action plan is designed to increase communication, policy development, and strategic protocols to both prevent healthcare violence and engage healthcare colleagues in ensuring workplace safety. 

A very top-level summary of our approach, which is outlined in the article, is as follows:
Step 1: Identify the issue and set organizational priority
Step 2: Involve and connect stakeholders to form a workgroup
Step 3: Mobilize teams, take action, gather data, and share information
Step 4: Create evidence-based guidelines and disseminate to hospitals
Step 5: Collect data and share results

Addressing healthcare violence requires ongoing commitment and a united effort. As MHA continues its multipronged, incremental, and continuous journey to prevent healthcare violence for patients and workers, we urge others in the healthcare community to use our experiences to construct their own workplace safety initiatives and join us in this urgent endeavor.

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