Hospital workers bypass traditional occupational injury reporting systems when reporting patient and visitor perpetrated (type II) violence

Am J Ind Med. 2016 Oct;59(10):853-65. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22629. Epub 2016 Jul 13.


Background: Under-reporting of type II (patient/visitor-on-worker) violence by workers has been attributed to a lack of essential event details needed to inform prevention strategies.

Methods: Mixed methods including surveys and focus groups were used to examine patterns of reporting type II violent events among ∼11,000 workers at six U.S. hospitals.

Results: Of the 2,098 workers who experienced a type II violent event, 75% indicated they reported. Reporting patterns were disparate including reports to managers, co-workers, security, and patients' medical records-with only 9% reporting into occupational injury/safety reporting systems. Workers were unclear about when and where to report, and relied on their own "threshold" of when to report based on event circumstances.

Conclusions: Our findings contradict prior findings that workers significantly under-report violent events. Coordinated surveillance efforts across departments are needed to capture workers' reports, including the use of a designated violence reporting system that is supported by reporting policies. Am. J. Ind. Med. 59:853-865, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: hospital workers; occupational injury surveillance; reporting violence; type II violence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Patients
  • Personnel, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • United States
  • Visitors to Patients
  • Workplace Violence / statistics & numerical data*