Hospitals Continue to Experience Rise in Workplace Violence During Pandemic

Last year and this year appear to continue 2020’s trend of increased assaults on hospital workers.

Hospitals Continue to Experience Rise in Workplace Violence During Pandemic

Photo via Adobe, by elenabsl

In 2020, the assault rate at U.S. hospitals increased more than 23%, from 10.9 incidents per 100 beds to 14.2, according to a crime survey conducted by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS). Reports from some media sources indicate the trend of increasing workplace violence at U.S. healthcare facilities appears to be continuing.

Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan reports that it’s had more than 1,000 assaults on nurses, doctors, and other hospital workers since the start of the pandemic, reports WWJ950. In 2021, the health system had more than 650 assaults against its employees, which was 100 more than in 2020.

San Diego, California-based Scripps Health experienced a 17% rise in workplace violence incidents last year, as well as an increase in staff injuries from assaults, reports Becker’s Healthcare.

Assaults could be verbal, physical, or sexual.

The true rate of workplace violence at U.S. hospitals last year, however, has yet to be determined. The IAHSS is urging U.S. hospital security professionals to participate in its annual healthcare crime survey to determine the actual rate of assaults in 2021.

The survey is confidential, and the identities of participants will not be released. Organizations that participate will not have their information released outside of the IAHSS Foundation.


About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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