How EHRs can help reduce violence against ED nurses

Workplace violence against nurses and healthcare workers has increased at rates that experts say are "alarming." Often, rates of violence are even higher for healthcare professionals who work in emergency departments, but new technology may be able to reduce these instances.   

Using machine learning technology, researchers trained models on electronic health record data to build a tool that helps detect signs of violence before it occurs. The training dataset included 1,215 workplace violence cases and 6,044 nonviolence cases.

The research published in the May 2023 issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing found that the model was able to achieve a 95 percent confidence rate in predicting workplace violence based on emergency department visit and stay factors. 

"The strongest predictor of risk of WPV was patient dissatisfaction, followed by high average daily length of stay, high daily number of patients, and symptoms of psychiatric disorders," researchers wrote of their findings. 

The study is one of several workplace violence research efforts featured in the Journal of Emergency Nursing's May 2023 issue, a topic that the Emergency Nursing Association dedicated the entire issue to, according to a May 9 press release.

"Workplace violence takes its toll on not only the people who are assaulted but also on the culture and operation of the entire ED," Gordon Gillespie, PhD, DNP, RN, said in a statement.  "Each paper provides perspective and data for others to consider as they implement measures in their own EDs and promote a culture of increased safety and security for their coworkers and their patients."

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