Gun violence in general and in health care settings has been on the rise across the United States for decades. On average there are 17 hospital shootings each year. These incidents are the driving factor behind Inspira’s evolving safety procedures, which are regularly updated to align with national best practices.
The security, emergency preparedness and workplace violence teams at Inspira are taking steps to prevent active shooter scenarios and improve the response if they occur. “We’re always improving our partnership with local law enforcement,” said Radford Garrison, system vice president of Facilities and Operations Support, Inspira Health. “We meet with police departments on a regular basis to discuss potential threats and provide them with information they will need if they respond to one of our facilities.”
Inspira has recently implemented Critical Response Group (CRG) mapping, a technology that provides first responders with a handheld mapping system to direct them once inside the hospital. We’ve also implemented a shot detection device, designed to automatically notify police if a gunshot is detected in one of our hospitals.
With new state regulations that permit the carrying of a concealed gun, it’s especially important for health care systems to remain vigilant. “We have signs posted in every hospital making it clear that no one, except law enforcement, can carry a gun into our facilities,” said Garrison.
Lastly, Inspira is pursuing more education on how to identify someone who may have the potential to create gun violence or other types of violence within the workplace.
Situational Awareness Is Key to Noticing and Mitigating Potential Threats
Detecting the potential for imminent violence and determining how to minimize the threat requires situational awareness— the creation of an accurate mental model of the space around you. The best way to practice situational awareness is by scanning your surroundings at regular intervals and use a questioning attitude during these scans. Do you notice anything different or unusual? If you do, call it out to a colleague nearby to cross-check your scan or notify Security.
“Understanding where you are and noticing when things don’t seem right allows you to take control and ownership over your safety and the safety of others,” said Garrison.
Inspira’s security operations center is open 24 hours a day and can dispatch security or the police quickly. If you see something out of place, alert hospital Security right away:
- Call 77777 from any landline inside: Inspira’s Medical Centers, and Health Centers in Bridgeton and Woodbury.
- From a cell phone or outside landline, call (856) 575-4443 for Mullica Hill or Woodbury.
- From a cell phone or outside landline, call (856) 575-4424 for Bridgeton, Elmer or Vineland.
In past years, employed providers and residents were taught the run-hide-fight method, a program developed by Homeland Security and the FBI, to address active shooters. Beginning this year, a new model known as ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate) will be taught. It is a build off the FBI’s Run-Hide-Fight and explains the where, how and why better.
“ALICE empowers us to participate in our own survival using proactive response strategies in the face of violence,” said Garrison. “It’s designed so that anybody can employ these strategies anytime and anywhere, whether law enforcement has arrived on the scene or not.”
Members of Inspira Medical Group will complete both in-person scenario-based training and a HealthStream module on the ALICE protocol.
If you have questions about the ALICE program or other safety initiatives, contact Bill Wiley at WileyW@ihn.org or Melissa Jones, workplace violence director, at JonesM@ihn.org.