The staff of Scripps Health—a Southern California-based healthcare system that treats a half-million patients annually through 2,600 affiliated physicians—are experiencing, year-over-year, increased levels of verbal and physical abuse.

In addition to the 17 percent increase in workplace violence incidents reported by Scripps staff, there are spikes in injury reports, according to Anthony Roman, who oversees security at the health system. 

“We’re also seeing an increase of staff that are being injured because of workplace violence, a 9 percent increase,” he told CBS 8. “I really want people to know that we’re trying to help them get better. But to get angry, to try to bully, to try to intimidate, to throw things around and to physically attack at all is not OK.” 

Violence against healthcare workers across the U.S. is a long-standing issue that the COVID-19 pandemic has simply worsened. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2018 shows healthcare workers are five times more likely to suffer a workplace violence injury than workers overall.

Read the full story at Becker’s Hospital Review.