Health care workers across the country are experiencing a growing rate of incidents of violence, and New Hampshire is no different. Every day, hospitals strive to provide a safe workplace in a difficult environment, as they are ensuring the physical and psychological safety of staff and volunteers, which is vital to continue delivering the highest quality of care.
Working with legislative leaders and member hospitals, NHHA advocated for the implementation of a Health Care Facility Workplace Prevention Program as well as establishing a commission specifically focused on health care workplace violence prevention. This new commission, established as a result from the 2021-2022 legislative session, coupled with a robust reporting requirement for workplace violence events, will provide the forum necessary for hospitals and other health care entities experiencing workplace violence to make positive change.
In addition, NHHA joins the American Hospital Association in supporting federal legislation that would extend the same protections to health care workers and medical volunteers against physical assault that are currently in place for assaults against first responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, people engaged in search-and-rescue operations and emergency service personnel. Such legislation would help augment the measures hospitals are currently using to keep workers safe on the job, including de-escalation training; improved incident tracking and tracking; and changes to physical environments, work practices and administrative procedures.