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3 Ways Hospitals Play an Integral Part in Keeping Communities Safe

Carolyn Vento
August 18, 2022
When you hear the term “emergency response,” what comes to mind? Do you picture first responders such as law enforcement and first responders arriving to the scene of an incident? The next part of the story often takes place at a hospital, where injured people are taken. The hospital is in fact an integral part of the emergency response team and should always be included in discussions about escalation. In addition to responding to emergencies, hospitals must prepare for their own possible incidents by protecting staff and patients.
 
Here are 3 ways hospitals are keeping communities safe:
 
  1. Playing a vital role in every traumatic incident.
    When the unthinkable happens, hospitals must react quickly and make life-saving decisions. By including them as part of your escalation, they will have the information they need to prepare for the possible surge of patients coming their way. By definition, this “surge” means the ability to provide health and medical care during a sudden increase in the number of patients or victims of disasters. By providing hospitals with up-to-the-minute information, you will ensure that the hospitals are able to meet everyone’s needs and save more lives.

  2. Keeping their employees and patients safe from intruders.
    On June 1, 2022, tragedy struck when a shooting took place inside a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The gunman killed two doctors and two others after he blamed one of the physicians for causing him pain from a recent back surgery.

    On July 14, 2022, a woman in Moreno Valley, California posed as a nurse, gained access to a hospital maternity ward and tried to steal a baby from a patient’s room.

    The hospital has since reviewed and reinforced its security protocols and added more sheriff’s deputies to the campus.

    On August 16, 2022, six people were hospitalized following a shooting near the Methodist North Hospital in Raleigh, Tennessee. The hospital was successfully put on lockdown for several hours to protect the staff, patients, and visitors. No additional people were injured.

    These events have all occurred within the past 3 months. With violence possible in any public space, it is vital for all healthcare facilities to have clear safety plans and incident management systems in place.

  3. Protecting themselves from their patients.
    Hospital workers have another problem to consider in addition to outside intruders. Patients and visitors assault nurses and other staff, unprovoked, due to a variety of mental health issues. These verbal and physical assaults have occurred more often during the pandemic as wait times have increased. According to a recent study, workers in the health care and social services industries have a roughly five times greater likelihood of experiencing a workplace violence-related injury than workers overall.

    With the increase in assaults on the staff in the nation's hospitals, more and more of these workers are using wearable panic buttons for their staff. This type of precaution can help hospital workers to get help faster, but it may not stop the assaults from occurring. Mental health professionals continue to work with patients in hospitals to create a more positive environment for everyone.
Hospitals are a major part of any emergency response, and the staff members face issues such as threats of violence from outside intruders as well as patients. While we may think of schools when we hear about mass shootings and mental health problems, we should also keep hospitals and other large public facilities in mind. If your hospital or organization is looking to improve safety protocols, consider our panic alarm solution, Safety OneClick, and our ground-breaking, digital incident management platform, Safety iResponse. Together, we can make the world a safer place.

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