Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

The New Age of Bullying and Violence in Health Care: The Interprofessional Impact

Fink-Samnick, Ellen MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP

doi: 10.1097/NCM.0000000000000099

Purpose/Objectives: This article:

  1. Explores the incidence, scope, and organizational impact of workplace bullying and violence.
  2. Discusses implications for the industry's emerging interprofessional practice culture and case management are addressed, including the emergence of a new dimension of trauma for health care sector victims.
  3. Reviews current initiatives and recommendations to empower professionals on their own journey to overturn this dangerous reality for the workforce.

Primary Practice Settings(s): Applicable to all health care sectors where case management is practiced.

Findings/Conclusion: Despite glaring improvements in how care is rendered and an enhanced focus on quality delivery of care, a glaring issue has emerged for immediate resolution: the elimination of workplace bullying and violence. The emerging regulatory and organizational initiatives to reframe the delivery of care will become meaningless if the continued level of violence among and against the health care workforce is allowed to continue.

Implications for Case Management Practice: Professionals who hesitate to confront and address incidents of disruptive and oppressive behavior in the health care workplace potentially practice unethically. Bullying has fostered a dangerous culture of silence in the industry, one that impacts patient safety, quality care delivery plus has longer term behavioral health implications for the professionals striving to render care. Add the escalating numbers specific to workplace violence and the trends speak to an atmosphere of safety and quality in the health care workplace, which puts patients and professionals at risk.

Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, is principal of EFS Supervision Strategies, LLC. Known and respected as “The Ethical Compass of Case Management.” She is a popular presenter and esteemed author with many publications across diverse media. Ellen is adjunct faculty for George Mason University's College of Health & Human Services, Director of Social Work Education for Athena Forum, LinkedIn Moderator for Ellen's Ethical Lens©, trainer for the National Association of Social Workers, and serves as a current Editorial Board Member for Lippincott's Professional Case Management Journal. Ellen has served as a Commissioner for CCMC and Chair of their Ethics & Professional Conduct Committee, plus in a variety of leadership roles amid the industry's professional associations. She is a vibrant and revered professional voice

Address correspondence to Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, EFS Supervision Strategies, LLC, Principal, 9412 Goshen Lane, Burke, VA 22015 (

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.