The Joint Commission Requirements on Workplace Violence Prevention

For years now I have spoken about the threat that workplace violence poses to the healthcare industry. Simultaneously, I have tried to point out that despite the severe nature of this threat, our industry largely does nothing to address it. This has, at times, taken the form of pointing to regulatory and legislative bodies working to force action to protect healthcare workers. Today, I revisit the topic by discussing The Joint Commission’s call for public comment on workplace violence prevention requirements as a condition of accreditation.

Earlier this month, The Joint Commission published a proposed revision to their requirements that added significant changes to both the hospital and critical access programs. These changes identified key deliverables to ensure the organization is working effectively to prevent violence against its workers. Check out the requirements here: Proposed New and Revised Requirements for Workplace Violence Prevention in Hospital and Critical Access Hospital Accreditation Programs Field Review | The Joint Commission.

These standards outline some bold and proactive requirements for organizational workplace violence program development. Some specific standouts are a required annual work-site analysis of the workplace violence program and outlined actions bases on the findings in the analysis. Requirements for employee training, within 90 days of hire, that must include information on roles, responsibilities, de-escalation skills, and physical intervention skills. There are also additional requirements for victim support programs and incident investigations.

If these requirements become final, they will represent one of the boldest initiatives to impact violence prevention in the healthcare industry to date. And, if implemented well, they will significantly impact the lives of every frontline working in our industry. This has the potential to radically change our industry’s culture surrounding violence prevention, and I am impressed by The Joint Commission’s very bold posture on this issue. I encourage you to share your comments with them as they continue to collect public comments through February 16th. Click here to comment.

In all, the state of violence against healthcare workers is a threat large enough to warrant significant efforts to combat it or it will eventually threaten the overall stability of our industry. I believe this opinion is only reinforced by the efforts of bodies like The Joint Commission as they seek to set standards to ensure that violence prevention programming receives the attention it deserves.

What are your thoughts? Do you see these requirements as beneficial, or as unnecessary? What stands out to you as effective or superfluous? Are you excited to see groups like The Joint Commission getting involved? Join the conversation in the comments below, and do not forget to like, follow and share to support the Proactive Security Blog.

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