HCN News & Notes

Emergency Physicians Applaud Bill to Prevent Violence in Emergency Department

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) applauded the House passage of the bipartisan “Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act,” sponsored by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney. 

“The epidemic of violence in our nation’s emergency departments is unacceptable,” said Dr. William Jaquis, ACEP president, noting that ACEP worked closely with Courtney, a representative from Connecticut, on the development of the legislation, which requires certain employers in the healthcare and social-service sectors to develop and implement plans to prevent violence against healthcare workers. In fact, the congressman noted ACEP’s leadership on efforts to curb violence in emergency departments during his remarks on the House floor.

ACEP has strived to shine a light on violence in the emergency department and has been working with Congress, the Joint Commission, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, among others, to improve policies and share resources. This bill comes on the heels of a new campaign with the Emergency Nurses Assoc., “No Silence on ED Violence,” to raise awareness about the epidemic of violence that threatens the health and safety of medical teams and patients.

“The passage of this bill is an important step to protect the medical professionals responsible for the health and wellness of millions of patients,” Jaquis said. “But there is more to be done. ACEP will continue working with champions and partners to secure passage of this legislation in the Senate and ensure the safety of our emergency care teams.”