Time to focus on the real threat to hospital security

Mark Thill

In our August 2017 Observation Deck editorial, we question whether vendor credentialing is still relevant today, as violence in hospitals (not, incidentally, instigated by sales reps) seems to be increasing. Here’s news from the American College of Surgeons (Aug. 14) that raises more questions about hospital preparedness for active-shooting events:

Hospitals are not off limits to tragic shooting events, and with these incidents on the rise in public places, more than half of the general public expects that physicians and nurses will protect them from harm if an active shooter event erupts while they’re in the hospital.  Likewise, more than half of health care professionals believe they have a special duty to protect patients under these circumstances.  But the two groups differ about the inherent safety of hospitals, with most people viewing them as safe havens, while health care professionals are more likely to view the hospital as a potentially risky setting for an active shooter event.  These beliefs are among key findings from a national survey conducted in March 2017 by the Hartford Consensus.  The results are published online as an “article in press” on the website of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in advance of print.

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