R3 Report Issue 42: Workplace Violence Prevention in Behavioral Health Care and Human Services
Workplace Violence Prevention in Behavioral Health Care and Human Services
Effective July 1, 2024, three new and one revised workplace violence prevention requirements will apply to all Joint Commission–accredited behavioral health care and human services (BHC) organizations. Similar requirements for hospitals and critical access hospitals took effect January 1, 2022.
Prevalence of workplace violence in BHC settings is high and has increased in recent years. Workplace violence contributes to burnout and staffing shortages in health care, which further exacerbates the crisis in mental health among behavioral health workers.
The new and revised Joint Commission requirements provide a framework to guide BHC organizations in developing new and reinforcing existing workplace violence prevention efforts. Requirements focus on leadership oversight, policies and procedures, reporting systems, data collection and analysis, post incident support and follow-up, and staff training and education as means to decrease workplace violence.
Along with the new requirements, the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services (CAMBHC) Glossary now includes a definition of workplace violence: “An act or threat occurring at the workplace that can include any of the following: verbal, nonverbal, written, or physical aggression; threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating words or actions; bullying; sabotage; sexual harassment; physical assaults; or other behaviors of concern involving staff, licensed practitioners, patients, or visitors.”