Emergency Rooms are meant to be safe places for injured people in need of medical care. The rise in violence on hospital campuses' has caused a lot of stress and concern for those who work and visit the ER.
A group surveyed 170 US hospital emergency medical directors concerning violence and security issues and received responses from 127 (74.7%). Over 41 medical institutions reported at least one verbal threat each day, and 23 reported at least one threat with a weapon each month--that's 18% of surveyed medical directors estimate that their Emergency Department Personnel is threatened with a weapon each month! Most medical practitioners say they've been physically assaulted while at their job, with 51% reporting cases where patients were also harmed. 
When violence occurs in the emergency department, patients can be injured or traumatized to the point of leaving without being seen. It also increases wait times and distracts staff from focusing on other urgent cases that need their immediate attention. Patients also need to feel safe when they're in the hospital. They deserve high-quality care from staff members who aren't distracted by other individuals with violent behaviors and a place that is free from any type of physical danger. Staff also deserve and should expect a safe work environment.
That's why to keep both the staff and patients safe, it is important to take some steps to prevent violence. One of the best ways to do this is to use Athena’s walk-through metal detector entryway security solution that was designed with safety in mind. Athena's Entryway Security Solution for concealed weapons is designed to detect a wide range of mass casualty threats like handguns, shotguns, and rifles. The system meets the Federal Standard for accuracy while being 10x faster than legacy devices and it uses multiple sensors to detect a threat, as well as letting through common personal items like a cell phones, watches, keys, and belts. Adding this security concept with the proper technology, trained staff, and preparations will help ensure that ERs run safely for everyone.
While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for how employers and hospitals should approach workplace violence prevention, developing individualized procedures will allow them to better serve their staffs' needs as well as community standards in terms of safety concerns.
MD Frank W Lavoie
MD Gary L Carter
MD Daniel F Danzl
Robert L Berg