Lessons learnt from the tragic shooting at Chicago hospital campus

Gun violence has become a perpetual problem in America and Level I Trauma Center on Chicago’s West Side, caregivers at Mount Sinai Hospital know how bad it can get from the injuries they treat.

Now, the challenge is at their doorsteps, when an individual opened fire on a group of people gathered outside. Sinai Health System officials learnt their lessons and changed some systems to step up the security.

Hospital officials conducted a meeting with security personnel, leadership in the emergency room, administrators and front-line staff to discuss how to prevent such incidents to ensure safety. These ideas were presented to Chicago police and fire officials before taking decisions. Among the major ideas discussed was the need to improve communication. EMS officials said that coordination with police and hospital security had to be improved.

The hospital invested $15,000 erecting an iron safety fence to protect emergency department entrance. Visitors were previously required to be wanded by a security officer to search for weapons. Now, the hospital spent $4,800 to install a least obtrusive metal detector and upgraded the wands.

They ensured full time security officer coverage and trained security officers in customer service at the main lobby. Hospital imparted training to nursing staff and security officers to learn to de-escalate and prevent violence among patients and visitors at an approximate investment of $120,000 to $135,000.