Developing Statewide Violence Prevention Programs in Health Care: An Exemplar From Massachusetts

Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2021 May;22(2):156-164. doi: 10.1177/1527154420987180. Epub 2021 Jan 27.


Workplace violence is on the rise in health care. This problem contributes to medical errors, ineffective delivery of care, conflict and stress among health professionals, and demoralizing and unsafe work conditions. There is no specific federal statute that requires workplace violence protections, but several states have enacted legislation or regulations to protect health care workers. To address this problem in their state, the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association developed an action plan to increase communication, policy development, and strategic protocols to decrease workplace violence. The purpose of this article is to report on the quality and safety improvement work that has been done statewide by the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association and to provide a roadmap for other organizations and systems at the local, regional, or state level to replicate the improvement process.

Keywords: health care violence; organizational policy; quality improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Personnel
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Massachusetts
  • Workplace Violence* / prevention & control