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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 61(8); 2018 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2018;61(8):444-449.
Published online August 21, 2018.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2018.61.8.444   
Prevention and improved responses to workplace violence against healthcare provider in the emergency department
Kyung Won Lee
Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Seoul Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea. emkwlee@gmail.com
Recently, a violent incident in which a drunken patient attacked an emergency physician at a general hospital emergency department (ED) shocked the entire country of Korea. According to a study published in the Journal of the Korean Society of Emergency Medicine and a recent survey conducted by the Korean Society of Emergency Medicine, workplace violence (WPV) against healthcare providers in the ED is common in Korea. Most of the violent offenders were males and between the ages of 30 and 40 years old. However, many of the victims were nurses. WPV against healthcare providers in the ED most often occurred during the night shift, and 77.4% to 88.1% of cases involved verbal insults and threats. Diverse efforts should be made to prevent WPV against healthcare providers in the ED and to improve the responses to cases of WPV. A national reporting system should be established. Current laws must be strictly enforced, and further amendments to the law are also needed. The Governmental Emergency Medical Basic Plan should include an improvement plan for WPV against healthcare providers in the ED every 5 years. It is necessary to establish and enforce a national standard police protocol for preventing and responding to WPV against healthcare providers in the ED. Support for resources, such as an ED police program, security personnel, and equipment such as closed-circuit television, is needed. Most of all, it is important to advance the culture of people's use of the ED and to promote safety culture.
Key Words: Violence, Workplace violence, Patient safety, Emergency service, hospital
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