Active shooter planning in a healthcare facility can be challenging. There are many factors that can be detrimental to the safety and security of both the staff, patients and first responders. As we stress in all of our courses, there is no way to predict an unpredictable situation such as an active shooter however, you can be better prepared with proper training.
An active shooter situation will create mass chaos in any facility but, the obstacles presented in a healthcare facility can increase the difficulty of planning and execution of how to handle the circumstances. If you work in a hospital, think about what the plan is for your facility. Do you are your co-workers know how to assess an active shooter situation, react and follow proper procedures for optimal safety? Do you have an evacuation plan or lockdown procedure? Do you know where the safe zones are? Do you know what to do with patients who are in critical condition or in the midst of a procedure? How long will it take first responders to get to you? Do you know how to assess a person’s behavior for threatening warning signs? There’s a lot to think about and without training, all those thoughts can completely disappear when in the face of danger.
Often times, we put more focus and effort on developing our Emergency Action Plans (EAP) and less focus and effort on putting that plan into action to identify weaknesses and gaps within our current plan. Additionally, how do we meet the daunting task of training our 100+ employees/staff? In most cases, we may lack experience in developing an effective training plan. B.E.C.O.N. can give you the guidance, tools and opportunity to train your staff. Our B.E.C.O.N. program gives you the ability to address these issues.
For now, start with what you do know. As FBI.gov shared, “every facility must have a security plan. Staff should be trained on their responsibilities in the plan. A facility security plan includes:
- All staff properly display an acceptable identification badge
- Create a culture of safety by empowering staff to report unusual or suspicious activity
- Ensure locked doors remain closed and locked
- Doors with keypad access should have their codes changed at specified intervals and codes are only given to employees with a need for access
- Foster a respectful workplace
- Be aware of indications of workplace violence and take remedial actions accordingly
- Empower employees who come in contact with individuals who seem lost or are obviously not familiar to their surroundings to be helpful and ask if they can be of assistance
- The plan should include information security processes, including compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Modern health care settings can be the site for unusual and dangerous activities. Some facilities have opted to construct safe rooms. Such rooms are designated spaces where staff, patients and even visitors can retreat to in the event of an immediate threat of danger. A designated safe room should be equipped with a duress button, telephone, and reinforced doors.”