Workplace Violence in the Headlines: Let’s Change the Narrative

Jeanne Kraimer




The healthcare industry is no stranger to workplace violence. For decades, research and statistics continue to prove just how traumatizing it has been to caregivers. We’ve seen the numbers… 1 in 4 nurses are assaulted at work1… workplace violence increased 110% since the early 2000s2… the list goes on. However, possibly most frightening is the reality rehashed in the media.

Publications across the country are shedding light on health systems experiencing violence and depicting their aftermath. It’s these factual, raw stories that make this industry crisis most concerning. The incidents that are the basis of these stories have real repercussions that are physical, emotional or financial.

Just to name a few:

  • Caregivers at one Florida facility suffered broken bones, concussions and wounds from being scratched, bitten, punched and kicked throughout nearly 200 incidents in a single year. OSHA found the facility neglected the safety of staff and let violence continue before consequences were intervened.3
  • A UNC medical survey revealed poignant responses from caregivers—not just quantitative data. Caregivers had a "sense of hopelessness, resignation, and futility," regarding workplace violence response. Staff expressed even if they filed formal reports, nothing would or could be done.4
  • A federal investigation found an Ohio children's hospital failed to keep proper employee injury records and protect employees from patients whose bites, kicks, punches and other assaults caused serious injuries, resulting in an $18,000 penalty.5
  • And Chicago area hospitals are facing mass amounts of exodus in nursing staff. [The pandemic] caused “a massive amount of burnout which led to the mass resignation which has led to the workforce shortage which has caused skyrocketing healthcare workforce labor costs.”6

These stories may feel extreme. But the reality is, healthcare workplace violence is not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. High-intensity environments like EDs, behavioral health units or isolated areas are more prone to violence, making caregivers in these settings more at risk. When violence presents itself, they need to be prepared and have a fundamental yet innovative solution to help change the narrative.

The CareFlow™ Platform enables caregivers to act quickly and discreetly in violent situations and health systems to scale their real-time locating system needs over time.

Caregivers use their RTLS badge they already wear for nurse call as a staff duress solution. Sensors installed throughout the facility receive signals from the badge as it moves. The sensors transmit the signals to be processed, and location data is displayed to the end user. In real time, users can see where staff members are located, and more importantly, where duress events are occurring.

Signal for Help

Caregivers don’t want to make matters worse by noticeably calling for help. Instead, when presented with a threatening patient or potential violence, a simple and discreet button press on their personal badge is all it takes for help to be signaled.


Pressing the button sends a pop-up alert notification to responders detailing the individual in distress, where they are located and when they initiated the alert notification. The more accurate information that’s presented, the more informed decisions are, decreasing overall response time.


RTLS duress data can be analyzed to determine trends that inform future decisions. This data can be collected to determine response times for compliance efforts, and it can be used as actionable insights for creating preventive programs, such as scheduling additional security personnel based on high violence rates in particular units.

If there’s one thing to remember, workplace violence can’t be 100% prevented. However, the aftermath can be lessened if the appropriate steps are taken with the right solution that empowers staff to act quickly and make informed decisions. Scalable technology can help make an impact on the future of workplace violence in the headlines. Let’s help change the narrative, together. Watch this video to see how it works.


1 "Protect Yourselves, Protect Your Patients." American Nursing Association. 2021.
2 “NNU Nurses to Testify in DC, Call for National Standard to Prevent Workplace Violence in Healthcare.” National Nurses United. January 2017; data sourced 2004-2015.
3 Facilities Management Advisor. 2023.
4 “A Qualitative Study of Resident Physician and Health Care Worker Experiences of Verbal and Physical Abuse in the Emergency Department.” Annals of Emergency Medicine. June 2021.
5 "Ohio children's hospital cited by OSHA for workplace violence.” Security Magazine. 2023.
6 “We nearly broke the system.” Chicago Sun Times. March 2023.