Ultimately, I would really rather not…

By Steve MacArthur, Hospital Safety Consultant

…be having this conversation.

Once again, the reality of a potential active shooter in the healthcare environment takes center stage and we are once again faced with the question of how to keep folks safe during such a horrific event. I know a fair number of folks have been working very diligently to establish safe rooms within their organizations to provide folks a reliable place to hide during an active-shooter event and I also know that quite a little cottage industry of devices has grown over the last couple of years. If you want to see what’s out there, just do a Google Image search of “lockdown door barricade devices” and you’ll see what I mean.

Quick question – have any of you folks used any/some of these devices in your planning (I’ve seen “The Sleeve” – a device that fits over a door closer: https://fightingchancesolutions.com/products/the-sleeve in a couple of places)? And what about your clinic locations – you could certainly make the case that, due to isolative distance, etc., those could be your most vulnerable spots?

At any rate, much like COVID, the pandemic that is the threat of violence in our healthcare facilities appears not to be diminishing over time (and no “vaccines” on the horizon for this), so the focus will have to be on continually hardening the protective elements of our facilities.

As a final thought (though we all know that it’s probably momentary), it might be worth kicking the tires on some of the resources available to form strategies, etc. I don’t think this is one we’ll be able to work through in isolation and collaboration is definitely going to make us all better prepared.

Check ’em out:

About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Healthcare Safety Leader. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com