Learning the Steps to an Effective
Emergency Department Workplace Violence Project Plan

As you initiate your project, let’s first review briefly the steps we will take to get a comprehensive plan for your emergency department designed and implemented. Use the steps in this toolkit to accomplish the following related to ED Workplace Violence:

DEFINE your role as a project leader

Getting started on any new project can often be intimidating especially when you are trying to fit this new project in with all the other tasks in the course of your day. In this toolkit, ENA has developed shortcuts and summaries for getting as much background information on emergency department workplace violence to prepare you for the project at hand. Remember, in order to effectively assess your department’s situation and develop a realistic plan, as project leader you must educate yourself on the current available information about emergency department workplace violence. ENA has summarized the latest information and will provide you with the tutorial you need to become your department’s expert on this issue prior to developing a plan. In keeping with providing you with you as many completed tools as possible, ENA has made the resources in this step multifunctional so you can use this research and powerpoint as part of any action plan that includes staff education.

ANALYZE your emergency department’s present status

In order to develop a focused, directed plan, the project leader(s) should complete a thorough assessment of the current status of your emergency department in an attempt to identify the areas that require the most attention and could respond the best to quality improvement measures. So, figure out what needs improvement and then direct your plan to those items that need the most attention first. Assessment tools can be tricky. Although they need to represent an objective collection of information, in the realm of workplace violence, subjective measures of staff perceptions and attitudes are equally valuable. Why? Because the latest information tells us that the perception that violence is a part of the job is a major barrier to reporting emergency department violence. You’ll find a variety of tools and summary forms in this section of the toolkit to help you develop a snapshot of what the major issues are in your emergency department and lead you to the areas of improvement you would like to focus on in your action plan. Use these tools as they are or modify them to serve the assessment needs of your department, taking into account the work and community culture in your setting.

DESCRIBE desired outcomes
Defining exactly where you want to go is an essential step in successfully getting there. Outcomes help us describe exactly what we hope to accomplish and are borne from the physical, cultural and educational assessment performed in the previous step. When you develop your plan, be practical. Outcomes should be SMART; that is, specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time-bound so that you have a frame of reference for evaluating your progress. In this section, the toolkit will provide worksheets for drafting your customized outcomes list for your emergency department. ENA has compiled a list of the most common outcomes for you to use as reference and a plan template for you to populate list with your outcomes and the steps you will take to achieve them.

DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT your action plan
Action items are practical interventions and tasks that your department can execute to help you achieve the specific outcomes you outlined. ENA has compiled a long list of action items related to specific outcomes that you can use as a guide to complete your plan. Remember to choose action items that are realistic to what is achievable in your department and not overwhelming in number or scope. A clearly articulated plan that helps gain the support of staff and administration alike.

EVALUATE your progress
After implementing your action plan items over a specified period of time, it is important to take a close look at whether progress has been made and to what extent your outcomes have been met and if adjustments are needed in your plan. This important step is what turns your plan into an ongoing cycle of improvement and allows you to extend the scope of your interventions. This toolkit will help you to use uniform assessment tools and evaluation templates to summarize your emergency department's violence project results and present your findings to administration and staff. When evaluating your progress, it is important to be able to quantify what you see occurring in your department before and after you apply your action plan.


Understanding the Issue