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February 13, 2024

New data shows aggression and violence are issues for all hospital staff - 60% of reported threats happen outside the emergency department

Duress alerts are pervasive across every area of hospital grounds, affecting more than 10% of hospital staff each year.

Canopy, the creator of an industry-leading safety solution to protect hospital staff from workplace aggression and violence, today shared new 2023 data that shows the threat of violence is pervasive across hospital grounds. It impacted more than 10% of all hospital staff last year in every role – from nurses to physicians, to cafeteria and gift shop workers – and in every area of the hospital campus.

Last year, hospital staff triggered 22,000 alerts requesting immediate help with an emerging threat or active violence among 200,000 employees equipped with duress buttons created by Canopy. While the largest share of these alerts originated in emergency departments (40.5%), nearly two-thirds happened in other areas of the hospital, underscoring the importance of protecting employees from in-patient floors to surgical units to intensive care units (ICUs).

"Frontline healthcare workers want to save lives and care for patients – workplace aggression isn't part of the job they sign up for. This data reflects the fact that health systems are taking action to protect their staff by deploying technology to get ahead of workplace aggression and de-escalate threats as they emerge," said Shan Sinha, co-founder and CEO of Canopy. "Our data underscores the need to be proactive and give every staff member the tools to ensure their safety and be confident we have their back."

Based on data from more than 40 hospitals and health systems across 800 facilities in the U.S., workers needed to use their duress buttons in incidents throughout every part of the hospital:

  • 40.5% originated in emergency departments
  • 40.5% originated in in-patient and surgery-related areas (admitting, pre-op, post-op, or anesthesia)
  • 19.0% originated everywhere else (ICUs, critical care units, behavioral health, and non-patient areas)

In addition to location, Canopy's data revealed trends associated with days of the week, COVID surges, and holidays. Surprisingly, alerts were less frequent during weekends and holidays, despite being some of the busiest, and often understaffed, times for hospital emergency departments.

  • Weekdays – 20% more incidents occurred on weekdays versus weekend days
  • Holidays – There were 12% fewer incidents during holidays than non-holiday periods
  • COVID surges – COVID surges (defined by a 50% or greater increase in hospital admissions) saw an 8% increase in incidents

Unexpectedly, Canopy also found a 9% increase in incidents during full moons, adding another data point to the persistent speculation among some health staff that lunar phases impact patient and visitor behavior. While research on the topic is limited and inconclusive, belief in the phenomenon remains strong enough that some hospitals increase staffing and preparation for full moon nights, and some staff prefer not to work during the phenomenon.

Canopy's data is an aggregate view of duress button alerts in 2023 across more than 40 health systems and 800 healthcare facilities in the U.S. This data provides new, real-world insight beyond the frequently cited Bureau of Labor Statistics' landmark "Workplace Violence in Healthcare" report, which showed healthcare workers are five times more likely to experience workplace violence than any other industry. Canopy hopes the data will better enable health systems to advocate for their workforce and instill best practices, helping keep patients and employees safe and protected.

About Canopy

Canopy helps hospitals ensure that healthcare workers feel safe, appreciated, and empowered every day to deliver the highest quality of care when they are at work. Our flagship product, Canopy Protect, helps hospitals protect their workers from patient aggression and violence. Since Canopy was founded, our technology has been deployed by over 40 visionary health systems to protect nearly 200,000 workers around the country, helping them de-escalate high-stress situations before they get out of control, helping hospitals implement Joint Commission standards for Workplace Violence Prevention, and ultimately, offer a safer and better environment for their workers and the public.

Canopy was founded in 2019 as SMP Labs, developing its solution in a partnership with leading health systems, experienced healthcare executives, and veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors who have built and invested in several companies that created widely used consumer and enterprise products, and who have served in executive roles at leading technology companies including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Amazon.

Canopy Contact:
Kara Spak