Active Shooters: Strategies and Tactics for Safety

By By Dan Hounsell
March 3, 2021

Healthcare facilities have become more frequent targets of violence in recent years, prompting the Joint Commission to recently issue workplace violence standards to protect patients, employees, and visitors. One challenge for managers looking to enhance the safety and security of their facilities is that hospitals are among the hardest to defend against armed-intruder incidents, largely because they have lifesaving operations that cannot stop, making it difficult to effectively evacuate during active-shooter incidents. 

Hospital leadership and personnel must employ effective conflict-resolution strategies before, during, and after times of crisis, according to EMS World. Emergency managers, EMS coordinators, and local health directors also play a large role in the preparedness/response to these incidents.

One element of their efforts involve risk assessment. When conducting hazard and vulnerability assessments, it is important to synthesize the complexities of the healthcare sector. Prioritize departments by their vulnerabilities. These assessments will expose weaknesses and strengths. Managers can take this information and apply it to preplanning, grant research, policy reform, and emergency response. They must be sure to incorporate all satellite offices or related facilities and conduct an assessment for each facility for optimal security. 

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Topic Area: Safety


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