Shooting Gives Hospital Violence Prime Time Attention

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 20, 2010

Action is being taken on other fronts. The American Society of Safety Engineers on Oct. 19-21 will convene a virtual symposium on workplace violence and other hazards in the healthcare setting. ASSE correctly notes that hospitals present unique challenges for security because of their mission, and virtually unrestricted 24/7 public access. The symposium will address preparing and responding to workplace emergencies, such as on-campus shootings, and also address reducing injuries associated with patient handling, and exposure to infectious diseases.

This pooling of effort and resources is another sign that healthcare leadership is coming around. For too long, it has appeared to me, healthcare leadership has been looking at these violent attacks only as isolated incidents. In one sense, they are right. These attacks are isolated and unpredictable and very hard to prepare for. However, that doesn't mean hospitals can't provide security resources that might thwart, discourage, or mitigate an attack.  

Let's hope it doesn't take another shooting to further the issue.
In the meantime, here's wishing Dr. Cohen a speedy recovery.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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