Earlier this week The Joint Commission (TJC), an independent organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the U.S., released Sentinel Event Alert 59 regarding violence against health care workers in the workplace. TJC Sentinel Event Alerts identify specific types of adverse events and high risk conditions, describes their common underlying causes and recommends steps to reduce risk and prevent future occurrences.
Joint Commission–accredited organizations are encouraged, but not mandated to self-report sentinel events. About 70 percent of the reviewable sentinel events received by TJC Office of Quality and Patient Safety (OQPS) are self-reported by organizations.
The Joint Commission stressed that workplace violence is not merely the violent events that make the news but also includes the everyday occurrences happening in all health care environments, such as verbal abuse, that are often overlooked. TJC provided actions healthcare organizations regardless of accreditation should take to deal with this trend.
TJC is not the only organization focusing on violence in health care facilities. In 2017 the American Hospital Association (AHA) created the “Hospitals Against Violence Hope” initiative, also known as #HAVhope, as a way to unite hospitals, health systems, nurses, doctors and other professionals to combat violence through the use of digital media.
June 8 has been designated as #HAVhope Friday, a national day of awareness to combat all forms of violence with a digital media campaign. Hospitals are encouraged to participate in this day of awareness using their own social media. #HAVhope will provide an important visual demonstration that the health care community stands together with others to combat violence. Click here to learn more about the campaign or here to view the digital toolkit.