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Press Release

SCHA Report Spotlights Healthcare Workplace Violence

May 8, 2024
(Columbia, South Carolina – May 6, 2024) Violent and aggressive behavior toward healthcare workers is rising nationwide, and South Carolina hospitals aren’t immune to the problem. A new report from the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) documents the frequency and nature of incidents, offers recommendations to enhance safety, and shares best practices that hospitals are implementing to protect their workforce and patients.

Healthcare workers are five times as likely to sustain workplace violence injuries and account for three-fourths of all workplace assaults. The SCHA report, the first of its kind in South Carolina, is a product of the S.C. Workplace Violence Collaborative, a collective of healthcare facilities partnering to address the issue.

The report is based on data about incidents of physical violence voluntarily submitted by 48 state facilities to Antum Risk, a leading provider of healthcare risk management services and solutions and SCHA partner.

“Our goal is to standardize the collection of workplace violence data so that we can develop intervention and prevention strategies and provide accurate information to state leaders and the public,” said Lara Hewitt, SCHA’s Vice President of Workforce & Member Engagement

Key findings from data submitted by participating hospitals include:
  • Two thirds of staff assaults are committed by adult patients;
  • Nearly 68% of assaults involve nurses and nursing support staff;
  • More than half of assaults take place in the patient’s room or bathroom;
  • Assaults are most likely to occur in evening hours between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.
“Hospitals are doing a great job of developing safety and security programs, and the report shares a number of innovative success stories that can be replicated,” Hewitt said, ranging from the use of a K-9 patrol corps to license plate reader technology.

The report also shows opportunities for improvement in training and communication.

Among participating hospitals:
  • Only half said all patients are assessed for agitation levels;
  • Less than half said contract staff are trained in their roles and responsibilities related to workforce violence, and
  • 33 percent said information regarding staff assault is prominently displayed.
See the full report and learn more about the work South Carolina’s hospitals and health systems are doing to advance safety and security in our facilities at
Media Contact: Schipp Ames
Phone: 803.744.3543

About the South Carolina Hospital Association
SCHA is committed to making South Carolina one of the nation’s healthiest states by helping our hospitals and health systems provide the best care possible. We advocate for sound healthcare policies and legislation, facilitate collaboration to tackle problems that none of us could solve alone, find and share innovations and best practices, and provide data, education, and business solutions to help our members better serve their patients and communities. Together, we are leading South Carolina to a better state of health. Learn more about SCHA at