We can do a better job of protecting our coworkers and ourselves. It first requires an understanding of the breadth of health care WPV; it’s an issue at every facility. EDs and psychiatric units are statistically the most violent health care settings. Medical students and EM residents have a right to be informed about their risk of harm and how to best handle high-risk situations. And more federal oversight may not be popular, but OSHA has promised to revamp its regulatory and punishment processes. It’s time for states to enact laws and health care systems and individual EDs to adopt strategies for improvement.
Dr. Phillips is a board-certified emergency medicine specialist and full-time academic faculty member at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He is the director of the Counterterrorism Medicine program in the BIDMC Disaster Medicine Fellowship and is the alternate councillor for the ACEP Tactical Medicine Section.
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