How Can a Limited Hospital Staff Protect Patients in an Active Shooter Situation?
In light of the recent and ever growing threat of shootings in both public and private establishments, it may be surprising to hear that hospital shootings are far more common than school shootings. From 2000 to 2011, 154 shootings occurred at hospitals throughout the United States. Incurring a total of 235 dead or injured victims, thirty percent of which took place in emergency departments, hospital shootings within the United States has become a necessary concern for all hospitals.
In the event of an active shooting scenario, hospitals are especially vulnerable due to a few main factors: (1) limited staff, (2) ill or injured patients who cannot be easily evacuated or defend themselves, and (3) a lack of emergency preparedness training. The effects of these factors can be seen in a well-known research study conducted by experts at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Analyzing the 154 hospital shootings over the last eleven years, the study claims that “the rate of assaults on health workers is 8 of 10,000 compared with 2 of 10,000 for private-sector industries.”
From a statistical perspective, hospital shootings are comparatively rare in occurrence from year to year. However, a single hospital shooting can cause significant harm and tragedy to the victims and their families. Due to its infrequency, along with the factors previously listed, hospital shootings can be difficult to prevent and even more challenging to control once they occur. So how can limited hospital staff protect themselves and their patients in an active shooter situation? ALICE Training can help answer that question.
Educate, Train, and Prepare Your Hospital Staff with the Help of ALICE Training
ALICE Training takes all the necessary steps to ensure that your hospital is prepared to respond appropriately in the event of a harmful invader.
Education is easy, consistent, and effective with the ALICE Healthcare e-Learning. Many are unaware of the ever growing threat of active shooter situations, not only in the healthcare industry, but in nearly all industries throughout the United States today. Because of this, ALICE Training, first and foremost, seeks to educate hospital staff about the real dangers of an armed intruder.
ALICE Training hosts live, local seminars and uses the latest web-based learning platforms to train you and your hospital staff in what is becoming the most widely accepted strategies in emergency preparedness throughout the United States. After participating in this intensive training, your hospital and your staff can become officially certified and deemed prepared to effectively manage emergency situations and active shooter scenarios.
Finally, ALICE Training will provide your hospital with a unique emergency preparedness plan that most effectively defends your staff and their patients. To maximize the effectiveness of your emergency preparedness plan, we visit each of the hospitals we train to identify existing infrastructure design and communication technologies that could help save lives during a hospital shooting.
ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training’s proactive strategies hope to empower hospitals with the knowledge necessary to survive during an armed intruder event.
Security Strategies for Protecting Your Patients
Because patients and hospital visitors are a major concern during an active shooter event, here are some preventative strategies that can better protect the individuals within your hospital:
- Train Staff to Be Aware and Looking for Potential Threats.
Because thirty percent of hospital shootings took place in emergency departments, it is important to have nurses continually searching for threatening activity. Such information can be gathered through various mediums. For one, a nurse may observe a patient’s behavior. Perhaps a patient is becoming increasingly frustrated, is intoxicated with drug or alcohol, or is acting in a violent manner. Suspicious behavior like this should be noted and carefully addressed. All suspicious or violent behavior should be immediately reported.
- Control Access Areas.
Understandably it is important to ensure the security of your hospital. Make sure that access areas are controlled or monitored to impede an armed intruder from easily entering your hospital without being noticed.
- Implement Environmental Interventions
Some environmental interventions, such as panic buttons and corridor chokepoints, may help staff, visitors, and patients to survive during an active shooter scenario. If implemented in effective positions within the hospital, environmental interventions could save lives and assist in the neutralization of the active shooter in a timely manner.
Call or contact the ALICE Training to prepare and certify your hospital through our emergency preparedness training.