Accessibility to Non-Medical Personnel in Emergency Departments

General BVC 7 february 2024  - Frenzs  - NCBI

In the fast-paced and often unpredictable environment of emergency departments (EDs), ensuring the safety of both patients and staff is a paramount concern. The challenge of identifying patients who may exhibit violent behavior is a critical aspect of this safety protocol. One tool that has garnered attention for its effectiveness and simplicity is the Brøset Violence Checklist (BVC). This innovative tool not only aids in predicting potential violence but also stands out for its accessibility to individuals without a medical background, including security personnel. The following explores the BVC's origins, its application in emergency settings, and its significance in enhancing safety protocols through a non-specialist's lens.

Application in Emergency Departments

The simplicity and objectivity of the BVC make it an invaluable resource in emergency departments. The ED setting is unique, characterized by high stress, diverse patient presentations, and the need for rapid decision-making. The BVC's straightforward approach allows for quick assessments, enabling staff to take necessary precautions to prevent potential violent incidents. Its utility extends beyond medical professionals to security personnel, who are often on the front lines in managing disruptive behavior.

The incorporation of BVC into ED protocols can empower security teams with a scientifically backed method to assess risk and implement preventative strategies. This proactive approach not only enhances the safety of the environment but also contributes to a more structured and calm atmosphere, benefiting patients and staff alike.

Accessibility to Non-Medical Personnel

One of the BVC's most significant advantages is its accessibility to individuals without a medical background. The checklist's focus on observable behavior, rather than requiring in-depth psychiatric knowledge, makes it an ideal tool for security staff. Training for non-medical personnel on how to effectively use the BVC is straightforward, emphasizing the observation of specific behaviors and the scoring system.

Scientific Validation and Impact

The BVC's efficacy and reliability have been validated through various studies. Research indicates that the BVC is a valuable predictive tool for short-term violence risk in psychiatric settings and emergency departments【2】【3】. Its predictive accuracy, ease of use, and non-reliance on clinical judgment make it a preferred choice in diverse healthcare settings.

Moreover, the implementation of the BVC has been shown to improve the overall management of potentially violent situations, reducing both the incidence of violence and the need for physical restraints【4】. Such outcomes not only enhance patient care but also contribute to a safer and more positive work environment for healthcare providers.


The Brøset Violence Checklist represents a pivotal advancement in managing and predicting violence in emergency departments. Its simplicity, combined with scientific backing, offers a practical tool for both medical and non-medical personnel, including security teams. By integrating the BVC into emergency department protocols, healthcare facilities can take a proactive stance in ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone within the ED environment. As healthcare continues to evolve, tools like the BVC play a crucial role in addressing the complexities of patient care and safety, demonstrating that simplicity and accessibility can go hand in hand with effective violence prevention strategies.

Almvik, R., Woods, P., & Rasmussen, K. (2000). The Brøset Violence Checklist: Sensitivity, specificity, and interrater reliability. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15(12), 1284-1296.
Abderhalden, C., Needham, I., Dassen, T., Halfens, R., Fischer, J. E., & Haug, H. J. (2004). Structured risk assessment and violence in acute psychiatric wards: Randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 185, 63-69.
Nijman, H. L., a Campo, J. M., Ravelli, D. P., & Merckelbach, H. L. (1999). A tentative model for predicting violence in psychiatric hospitals. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 99(5), 318-324.
Woods, P., & Almvik, R. (2002). The Brøset Violence Checklist (BVC). Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 106(s412), 103-105.

General BVC 7 february 2024  - Frenzs  - NCBI