Proactive Prevention

Patient to Staff Violence Tools/Example Policies
Pre-engagement background checks and screening  
Patient Rights and Responsibilities clearly outline expectations re: violence, weapons, illicit substances and exclusion of visitors who are aggressive/violent
  • All inpatients provided copy of patient rights and responsibilities (outpatient equivalent?)
    • Family and Visitor Guidelines published and posted
    • Process for security escort off campus

Policy Procedure Disruptive

Patient Patient Visitor Policy for Violent Abusive Behavior
Staff Training:
  • Recognize precursor signals of violence
  • Medical record documentation expectations
  • De-escalation and Self-Defense training
  • Safe restraint use
Security Environmental Risk Assessment of High Risk areas:
  • Secluded location (satellite clinics, isolated patient exam rooms, no direct line of sight or panic switches)
  • Off site location: Home Health services
  • Screen home for safety prior to visit (i.e. Western Health Risk Assessment Screening Tool)
Patient Specific Proactive Prevention
  • Intake assessment includes screening for risk of violence/aggression; documentation in medical record
  • Patient past history of violence or aggression is clearly communicated to all team members (electronic alert, care plan)
  • Unique safety plan developed based upon known risks



The assessment and management of the violent patient in critical hospital settings
Journal: General Hospital Psychiatry
Click here

Patient Violence Against Clinicians: Managing the Risk
Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience
Click here

Compassionate Approaches to Preventing Patient Violence
Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare
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Workplace Violence in Emergency Medicine: Current Knowledge and Future Directions
The Journal of Emergency Medicine
Click here


Download the entire toolkit (PDF)

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