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What causes patient violence against health-care workers?

Ordinarily I'd prefer to post something more lighthearted on a Friday morning, but an opinion piece pondering patient violence by Kevin Pho, MD, has caught my attention. He writes:

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis published last year, almost 60% of assaults in the workplace occurred in a health care setting. Nearly three-quarters of these assaults were by patients or residents of a health facility.

From there, Pho tries to understand the cause of this violence. He thinks it may have something to do with the health-care system itself:

But I wonder whether the rising tide of violence against doctors and nurses is more emblematic of a dysfunctional health system. Patients are learning that health care is a commodity. I see firsthand the deterioration of the doctor-patient relationship, as physicians are pressured to see more patients in shorter amounts of time. Patients are rightly frustrated, and some are lashing out.

What do you think?

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