HEALTH CARE

General Brigham tells patients he will not tolerate intimidation or harassment of healthcare workers

The state’s largest hospital system has implemented a new code of conduct aimed at protecting employees from intimidation and harassment, including racist comments by patients and visitors.

General Brigham said he would not allow offensive remarks about race, accent, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. This includes refusing to see a clinician based on personal characteristics.

In this week’s message to patients, the health system also said it does not allow sexual or vulgar language, or physical assault.

General Brigham spokesman Mark Murphy said the code of conduct was created over the past year in response to a nationwide increase in violence and hostilities in health care facilities. The organization launched a sweeping anti-racism initiative in 2020.

“As much as we strive to provide the best possible clinical care and experience, General Brigham strives to create a safe and welcoming environment for both patients and staff,” Murphy said in an email. said.

The policy states that patients who violate the code of conduct may be asked to “make another plan for their treatment.”

Threats and violence against health care workers across the country escalated during the COVID pandemic, according to hospital officials, health workers, and government data.

Nearly half of nurses report an increase in workplace violence, according to a 2022 survey by the trade union National Nurses United.

Nurses in Massachusetts report sharp increases in violence from 2021 to 2022. And her 38% of nurses surveyed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association earlier this year said concerns about violence and abuse could influence their decision to leave nursing early.

Mass General Brigham staff have been the target of intimidation and violence in the past. Earlier this year, a group of white supremacists protested outside Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In 2015, a gunman shot and killed Brigham Heart Surgeon Michael his Dr. Davidson.

In this January 2016 file photo, flowers are left outside Brigham University in honor of the murdered Dr. Michael Davidson. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Leaders of the Popular Nurses Association, which represents unionized nurses, said they supported Gen. And I want legislators to do more.

In a statement, union president Katie Murphy said: “With healthcare violence on the rise during the pandemic, it has never been easier for employers to work with nurses and other caregivers to improve policies. “Patients and healthcare workers are under tremendous stress created by a system that emphasizes profit at the expense of local services, safe staffing and quality care. We must also recognize that.”

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