GNYHA hosted a Workplace Violence Prevention Symposium last week to discuss the unique attributes of workplace violence in the health care setting, including best and emerging practices for prevention and mitigation. Judith E. Arnetz, PhD, Professor and Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine at Michigan State University, served as the keynote speaker. A nationally recognized researcher and practitioner who has studied the topic of workplace violence in health care for more than 20 years highlighted a multi-year intervention carried out at the Detroit Medical Center, a system comprised of seven inner-city and suburban hospitals.

Dr. Arnetz gives the keynote presentation

A panel comprised of GNYHA members, including Interfaith Medical Center’s Steven DeLuca, Northwell Health’s Adrienne Drohomirecky, Lifespan’s Barbara Koll, and NYC Health + Hospitals’ Jeremy Segall, presented strategies used in their institutions to address workplace violence, demonstrating the complexity of this topic and the need for creativity and fortitude to address it.

Themes included the urgent need to couple a robust incident reporting system with an environment that facilitates and encourages reporting; prioritizing areas or units for intervention based on information from both reporting systems and incident reports; emphasizing employee health and safety via leadership communication and action; and empowering frontline workers to participate in developing and implementing mitigation strategies.

Cultivating a learning community around this complex topic was a key objective of the symposium. GNYHA will foster this community through a year-long learning series of webinars and in-person workshops. Each event will explore a key dimension of workplace violence prevention and mitigation. The first session will be a webinar on Developing and Maximizing Incident Reporting Systems on February 28, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. All materials from the January 24 symposium can be found here. An interview with Dr. Arnetz will soon be available.