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I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D., senior staff, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Here is what's new this week in To Your Health - a consumer health oriented podcast from NLM - that helps you use MedlinePlus to follow up on weekly topics.
Workplace violence in health care settings is increasingly common and needs to be addressed by research and better practices, finds a pioneering, national assessment recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
James R. Phillips M.D., the study's author, writes (and we quote): 'Health care workplace violence is an underreported, ubiquitous, and persistent problem that has been tolerated and largely ignored' (end of quote).
Phillips, who is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, adds (and we quote): 'According to the Joint Commission, a major accrediting body for health care organizations, institutions that were once considered to be safe havens are now confronting steadily increasing rates of crime, including violent crimes such as assault, rape, and homicide' (end of quote).
Specifically, Phillips suggests in 2014 about 75 percent of aggravated assaults and 93 percent of assaults occurred when a health care provider was assisting a patient, caregiver, or client whom they knew within a medical setting.
Phillips finds recent results from the American Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest health care workers are nearly four times as likely to require time away from work as a result of violence compared to other types of injuries.
Phillips adds recent research suggests there are increased rates of missed workdays, burnout, job dissatisfaction, decreased feelings of safety, and less productivity among staff members after a violent incident occurs.
Phillips notes the victims of workplace violence often include nurses and physicians. He reports the health care workers and other employees who work in inpatient psychiatric environments are at a higher risk of targeted violence than other health care workers.
To assist health care workers, Phillips recommends employers create safer working environments by adopting incident-reporting procedures that protect against retribution when providers complain, and support the implementation of cost-effective, evidence-based solutions as these are discovered.
However, Phillips acknowledges the latter development requires a new generation of research about medical workplace violence. Phillips concludes (and we quote): 'Future research efforts should be devoted to unbiased data collection, experimental designs, and improved reporting processes' (end of quote).
Meanwhile, some background information about job safety and injury protection for health care workers is available within MedlinePlus.gov's occupational health for healthcare providers health topic page. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides a helpful overview of job hazards for health care providers within the 'start here' section of MedlinePlus.gov's occupational health for healthcare providers health topic page.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also provides information about workplace violence within the 'related issues' section of MedlinePlus.gov's occupational health for healthcare providers health topic page.
MedlinePlus.gov's occupational health for healthcare providers health topic page additionally provides links to the latest pertinent journal research articles, which are available in the 'journal articles' section. Links to clinical trials that may be occurring in your area are available in the 'clinical trials' section. You can sign up to receive updates about occupational health for healthcare providers as they become available on MedlinePlus.gov.
To find MedlinePlus.gov's occupational health for healthcare providers health topic page, please type 'provider occupational health' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page, then, click on 'occupational health for healthcare providers (National Library of Medicine).'
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