The Joint Commission recommends these seven steps to address violence in healthcare settings:

1. Clearly define workplace violence and put systems into place across the organization that enable staff to report instances of workplace violence, including verbal abuse.

2. Recognizing that data come from several sources, capture, track, and trend all reports of workplace violence — including verbal abuse and attempted assaults when no harm occurred.

3. Provide appropriate follow-up and support to victims, witnesses, and others affected by workplace violence, including psychological counseling and trauma-informed care if necessary.

4. Review each case of workplace violence to determine contributing factors. Analyze data related to workplace violence and worksite conditions to determine priority situations for intervention.

5. Develop quality improvement initiatives to reduce incidents of workplace violence.

6. Train all staff, including security, in de-escalation, self-defense, and response to emergency codes.

7. Evaluate workplace violence reduction initiatives.

More detailed descriptions of these recommendations are available online at: