Following the shooting death of a surgeon inside Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston this week, health facilities are looking at how staff in the Delaware Valley are trained to handle similar events.
“These are things that we do discuss on a regular basis,” said Mark Ross, regional director of emergency preparedness for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.
“We do all hazards planning, everything from the weather that we may experience this weekend up to events such as these violent situations that can occur, not only in health care, but in any industry.”
Most staff members do receive training on how to de-escalate volatile situations, he said, but facilities can be reluctant to place armed guards and metal detectors at every entrance.
“You don’t want that institutional feeling to health care. You want it to be that caring, nurturing environment,” said Ross.
Several shootings have occurred at health facilities in recent months, including incidents in Texas and New Hampshire.
Last July, a patient allegedly killed his caseworker at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Delaware County.