Active Shooter

In 2022, according to The Gun Violence Archive (GVA), an active shooter statistics database, 617 mass shootings occurred in the United States as of December 1st, 2022. Five of those incidents occurred in a hospital setting. Active shooter incidents can occur in any location, including hospitals. It’s essential for healthcare facilities to implement physical security measures to prevent these dangerous situations from occurring. The following are some guidelines that hospitals can use to ensure their physical security is up to par:

Access control points of entry: Hospitals should have controlled access points where visitors and staff must present identification and go through security screenings. This can include metal detectors, bag checks, and other security measures.

Security cameras: Security cameras can monitor high-risk areas and alert security personnel to potential threats. They can also provide valuable evidence in the event of an incident.

Recurring training: Hospitals should conduct regular active shooter training and drills for staff members. This can include how to recognize potential threats, how to respond to an active shooter situation, and how to evacuate patients safely. Safety drills evaluate how staff members would react under simulated pressure.

Communication plan: Hospitals should develop a communication plan for staff and patients in the event of an active shooter situation. This can include clear instructions on how to notify security personnel, how to evacuate patients and staff, and where to rally once outside the threat area.

By implementing these physical security measures, hospitals can significantly reduce the risk of an active shooter incident. However, it’s important to note that physical security measures alone may not be enough to prevent every potential threat. Hospitals should also have policies and procedures in place for responding to an active shooter situation, including coordination with law enforcement.

It’s crucial for hospitals to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their patients and staff. By prioritizing physical security, hospitals can minimize the risk of an active shooter incident and create a safer environment for patients, visitors, and staff.