Hospital, Clinic Shootings Put Spotlight on Security

February 19, 2021

The fatal shooting at a medical clinic in Buffalo, Minn., last week is reigniting anxiety about hospital safety in healthcare facilities and raising new concerns about the most effective strategies for dealing with potential violence in the workplace

At Hennepin Healthcare's Whittier Clinic in South Minneapolis, a group of staffers convened the day after the shooting to share their concerns about safety from outside threats, according to Security Info Watch. Authorities allege Gregory Ulrich walked into the Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo with a handgun and pipe bombs. In about six minutes, he detonated three explosive devices and shot five people, killing one, a 37-year-old medical assistant.

The incident underscored a grim reality for clinics — that restraining orders work best on people least likely to violate them. Violent gun attacks such as the one last week where a legal restraining order had been obtained against a patient are rare, but healthcare workers face a constant challenge of assessing patients for threats.

In her 14 years as the CEO of NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center in North Minneapolis, Stella Whitney-West recalled only one restraining order obtained by an employee who heard from police that a person had made threats against her in a session with a therapist elsewhere. Whitney-West, however, said violence is always a wake-up call. What is also happening at NorthPoint and elsewhere is risk and threat assessment, both with formal questionnaires and discussions with patients. They also have duress buttons they can push to call internal security.

Click here to read the article.

See the latest posts on our homepage


Topic Area: Security

Recent Posts
Recent Posts

Health-Housing Project Targets Community Needs

3.7-acre complex is designed to increase access to healthcare and affordable housing for area’s most vulnerable


Seismic Shift: System Opts To Build New, Not Retrofit

Retrofitting existing facility would cost about as much as building new hospital


COVID-19 Influences Hospitals’ Upgrades

Lessons learned during pandemic applied to building overhauls, including need for patient privacy and expanded digital capabilities


Penn Medicine’s New Pavilion Focuses on HVAC Efficiency and Sustainability

New 1.5 million-square-foot Philadelphia hospital set to open in fall of 2021


Groups To Foster Sustainability in Safety-Net Hospitals

Topics to include strategic energy management planning, new technologies and innovative funding mechanisms


Post Comment


News & Updates • Webcast Alerts • Building Technologies

All fields are required.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.