Hospitals and other medical facilities are under attack. It is no longer a rare occurrence for a violent shooting to occur at hospitals; emergency rooms, hospital lobby areas, records rooms, and pharmacies are hotspots for an attack. “The most recent FBI data has identified 250 healthcare active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2017, in which 799 people were killed and an additional 1,418 were wounded. In the first half of that period, there was an average of 6.7 incidents per year. That number has tripled to over 20 incidents per year in the second half of that period.”, says Campussafetymagazine.com.
Hospital shootings are typically premeditated, driven by personal issues with doctors, staff, or other patients at the hospital. Many reported hospital shootings result from domestic disputes; high emotions drive people to make poor and violent decisions. Gang violence is a major concern for emergency rooms, and intensive care units; “Unfinished business” from on the street may provoke someone to want to “finish the job” when security is low and injured patients are defenseless. Pharmacy counters in hospitals and other medical facilities are also an area of potential gun violence due to the drug abuse epidemic in the US.
Reactive measures such as security guards and cameras do not work in hospitals as there are limited areas to “escape to safety” after a threat is detected and underway; patients are literally defenseless in hospital beds, or behind emergency room curtains.
As Campussafetymagazine.com says, hospitals need to change their ideas of security from “Run and Hide” to “Secure and Preserve”. Bullet proof glass, and fiberglass panels are crucial in the security architecture for hospitals. Hospitals and other medical facilities can significantly harden their security by considering bullet resistant lobby entryway doors and hallways, emergency room/triage areas, payment windows, pharmacy/laboratory windows/doors, and information/reception counters. Contact us to see how we can better secure your hospital against the threat of a gun attack. Protect your employees and your patients.