GNYHA and its members have long recognized the importance of maintaining the safety and security of their facilities in order to protect patients, staff, and visitors. GNYHA has offered programming on the subject for many years, discussed the topic as part of workgroup meetings, and offered resources to help members enhance the protections they provide. GNYHA is sharing the health care facility security, active shooter response, and workplace violence prevention resources below to ensure that members are familiar with them.
GNYHA’s Safety and Security Considerations for Hospitals synthesizes safety and security strategies compiled by a GNYHA-led workgroup of health care security directors and external law enforcement representatives. Considerations are organized into four sections—staff and vendor management, patient and visitor management, physical security, and emergency department security; a fifth section provides links to tools and resources.
The US Department of Homeland Security’s Enhanced Critical Infrastructure Protection Program, offers security surveys through Assist visits. These visits identify infrastructure vulnerabilities and consideration points to address security concerns. The program is a complimentary service, and all shared information is legally protected. Interested facilities can contact John Durkin, Acting Regional Director, DHS, Region II, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646) 235-7808.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ (DHSES) Office of Counter Terrorism Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit works with local, State, and Federal agencies, and private entities to conduct risk and vulnerability assessments and analyses of critical infrastructure, and develop strategies to protect such infrastructures from terrorist attacks and other hazards. Their Security Resource Guide explains the different options available from the New York State DHSES. To contact the appropriate representative, please call the main office at (518) 242-5000 and ask for critical infrastructure.
The Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies Healthcare Security and Safety Assessment is specifically designed for health care institutions and can help them enhance physical security, as well as security procedures.
The New Jersey Hospital Association’s Security Readiness Assessment Tool was originally developed in 2007, and was updated earlier this year. It is designed to provide best practices in developing health care security plans.
Active Shooter Response Resources
Federal and Local Resources
Active shooter prevention, mitigation, and response resources are available on the DHS Active Shooter Preparedness Website and the FBI Active Shooter Resources Website. Hospitals are also encouraged to meet with local law enforcement partners to learn about active shooter resources and response protocols specific to their area.
Since active shooter situations in health care settings pose unique challenges, guidance and resources specific to health care have also been developed.
- Active Shooter Planning and Response in a Healthcare Setting (2017, 3rd edition) – Produced by the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council, this document draws on the expertise of public and private sector leaders to address the unique challenges of an active shooter event within a health care setting that includes vulnerable patients, hazardous materials, and locked units. The document also includes an ethical considerations section
- Metropolitan Healthcare Security Directors Association Plan to Live Active Shooter Video Trainings – The Metropolitan Healthcare Security Directors Association (MHSDA) completed an active shooter training video called Plan to Live. Module 1 focuses on preparing staff for an active shooter scenario, and Module 2 focuses on leadership and executive staff preparedness. The videos are available to MHSDA members via the Academy portion of the MHSDA website, and can be used for training purposes
Emerging Response Model
This recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine introduces the “secure-preserve-fight” model as an alternative to “run-hide-fight” for areas of health care facilities housing vulnerable patients.