ACEP ID:

Violence in the Emergency Department

Addressing and Preventing ED Violence

Violence in the emergency department is unacceptable. ACEP is working to strengthen protections for physicians, care teams and patients by increasing public awareness, advocating for policy changes and developing resources to help professionals mitigate and respond to these incidents.

According to a 2022 ACEP survey, 85% of emergency physicians believe the rate of violence experienced in emergency departments has increased over the past five years.

Attacks on frontline health care workers are becoming more frequent and emergency physicians are leading the call for real solutions by sharing their story and calling for solutions.

The ACEP and the Emergency Nurses Association have partnered since 2018 on the No Silence on ED Violence campaign to raise awareness, advocate for policy changes and strengthen protections for frontline workers.

Emergency physicians who have been hurt or threatened on the job are speaking out. Any ACEP member interested in sharing personal stories is encouraged to contact pr@acep.org.

Public Statements

Poll: Emergency Department Violence (September 2022)

ACEP and ENA Push for Swift Passage of ED Violence Legislation (May 2022)

Emergency Physician Residents and Health Care Workers at High Risk of Physical or Verbal Assault, New Analysis Shows (June 2021)

Emergency Physicians and Emergency Nurses Unite to Stop ED Violence (November 2019)

Advocacy

Emergency physicians strongly support policies that would establish criminal penalties for assailants and strengthen workplace prevention programs for employees.

Emergency physicians’ support has led to the introduction of the “Workplace Violence Prevention Act for Health Care and Social Service Workers,” (S. 4182), a bill introduced by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require health care and social service employers to create and implement workplace violence prevention plans.

ACEP also supports the “Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act,” introduced by Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), a bill that establishes federal penalties for violence against health care workers, modeled after protections that exist for aircraft and airport workers.

Visit our Advocacy Action Center to urge your U.S. Representative and Senators to co-sponsor and support these bills.

Spokesperson Resources

Talking Points: Emergency Department Violence

Social Media Resources: ED Violence

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