The International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) has released a new industry guideline titled “Violent Patient/Patient Visitor Management.” The guideline opens with the statement that “Violence stemming from patients and patient visitors present considerable risk and concern to the healthcare industry. Healthcare Facilities (HCFs) should establish specific violence prevention and aggression management policies, processes and practices to deter, identify and manage violent events.”  The guideline provides specific sample policies and processes for identifying and mitigating workplace violence and threats from patients and visitors.

The guideline was initially developed by the IAHSS Council on Guidelines, who then sought out and incorporated feedback from the IAHSS membership, the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), according to an IAHSS news release.

Tom Smith, Chair of the IAHSS Council on Guidelines, stated: “This guideline could not be timelier. Last week, The Joint Commission (TJC) published Sentinel Event Alert 59: Physical and verbal violence against health care workers. The content of the IAHSS ‘Violent Patient / Patient Visitor Management’ guideline will add to and support TJC’s most recent Sentinel Event Alert and assist healthcare organizations as they develop proactive policies and practices to address violent and threatening patients and family members.”

The new guideline can be accessed by the public for a limited time at, and it is available electronically to IAHSS members via the IAHSS website. Hard copies are published annually and available for sale in the IAHSS online store.