During ACEP19 in Denver, we officially announced “No Silence on ED Violence,” our new joint campaign with the Emergency Nurses Association to tackle the growing epidemic of violence against caretakers inside the emergency department. This collaborative effort is designed to support, empower, and provide the resources that emergency physicians and nurses need to improve safety at their workplace while engaging the public at large to take or support action. Share your personal stories, view resources, and learn how you can help the cause at www.stopEDviolence.org.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 38 – No 11 – November 2019
Preventing workplace violence in the emergency department is one of ACEP’s top priorities, and this campaign is the latest step in ACEP’s ongoing efforts to address this growing issue. It’s a complicated problem, so we are tackling the issue from various angles. Quick summaries of our ongoing efforts, resources, and updates are at www.acep.org/EDsafety.
PR: Raising Awareness
Our public relations (PR) efforts on this topic ramped up in 2018 when we conducted a survey of our membership to measure the problem across the country. The findings were powerful: Almost 50 percent of emergency physicians had been physically assaulted at work, and more than 60 percent of those incidents had occurred in the year before the survey. Nearly seven out of 10 respondents said their hospitals reported the incidents, but only 3 percent pressed charges. And violence isn’t limited to the providers either; more than 50 percent said that patients had been physically harmed during an incident. When we unveiled these results, there was widespread media coverage, raising public awareness about this problem.
Since its release in October 2018, our survey has been mentioned in 595 outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and Kaiser Health News.
As part of our continuing efforts to raise public awareness and to put a face on these statistics, ACEP’s PR team is now collecting firsthand accounts of ED violence and asking how it impacts your mental health and patient care. If you’d like to share your story, you can share on social media using #StopEDViolence or contact Maggie McGillick, ACEP’s director of public relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocacy: Federal Legislation
In March 2019, we sent a letter of support for H.R. 1309: The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, asking Congress to consider how emergency departments are staffed and to ensure that important provisions of the legislation are implemented appropriately. We asked for a wording clarification on the responsibility of the “covered employer” within the legislation to ensure that any new federal requirements don’t place unintentional burdens on entities (including physicians) that do not control the health care workspace.