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San Diego health systems assess security in wake of Tulsa shooting

An angry patient with back pain entered a medical office building in Tulsa on June 1, determined to kill his surgeon and, as officers later said, “anyone who got in his way”, a mentality that eventually killed four people.

Ten days later, the aftermath of the incident continues to resonate throughout medicine, at a time when tensions are already high due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more than a year now, health care workers have reported frictions with patients who sometimes refused to wear masks, reacted violently to positive test results, and protested outside hospitals about government vaccination orders.

Local health care providers said this week that they were strengthening previous active sniper training among employees and their medical staff.

Sharp HealthCare reminds its employees of special pressure alarms installed on its desktop computers, which allow anyone to be alerted to the security that a situation is in progress by discreetly pressing a series of keys and checking the exterior doors of its buildings to make sure that they lock properly. The additional reminders relate to a special function of security signals issued by the company, which, if used in a specific way, allow the rapid activation of the emergency alarm systems of the facilities.

Kaiser Permanente San Diego, Paradise Valley Hospital, Alvarado Hospital and others across the region said in a statement that they were prioritizing active sniper response techniques in response to the recent Scripps Health shooting series, adding that it intended to pilot “some new procedures.” although the exact nature of these changes is not disclosed to the public.

Few in healthcare have more experience in healthcare safety than Chris Van Gorder, CEO of Scripps Health. A sworn police officer who was injured in the line of duty, Van Gorder’s first job in healthcare was a safety director at the hospital where he recovered from an injury that ended his career as a law enforcement officer.

In an email this week, he noted that healthcare facilities are limited to the extent that they can be trained for such attacks. Especially in hospitals, it is difficult to bring the kind of realism that makes threats and responses feel real.

“The actual training with actors as shooters and dozens of police officers, deputies and members of the SWAT team is intense, even frightening for the staff involved, as many staff members have told me,” Van Gorder said. “That’s why I’m not in favor of exercises with real patients who may have behavioral problems or take medication and not realize that this is just a drill.”

This seems to be the standard, at least locally. Exercises are generally “table” exercises where employees talk about how they would react to a given situation – say, a person entering their building with a gun – instead of going through scenarios that have been done.

There has been a lot of talk after the shootings in New York, Texas and Oklahoma that those who are targeted should be targeted. The argument is generally that a workplace with armed passengers will be less likely to be the site of an attack.

So far, there seems to be no such move in San Diego.

Dr Toluwalase “Lase” Ajayi, who was recently inaugurated as the 152nd president of the San Diego County Medical Society, said this week that she had not identified any movement toward doctors who were armed in response to the Tulsa shooting.

Doctors, he said, tend to focus on treating causes rather than symptoms, and those with whom he has spoken tend to favor stricter gun regulation rather than bringing firearms to work.

But there was a lot of concern.

“Believing that you can be attacked because you do your job, trying to do your best, and not just you but your team, is extremely scary,” he said.

The pandemic, he added, has clearly increased the number of tense situations unfolding in many healthcare settings. Some of her colleagues, she said, recently told her that he was spit on by a patient who did not expect to receive a positive coronavirus test.

“It’s just that in general we see this increase in aggression towards the medical profession and it speaks to a greater social weight,” Ajayi said.

How one responds to violence, especially gun violence, depends to a large extent on the regulation of organized medicine. The powerful American Medical Association renewed its call for a ban on “military-type” weapons and high-capacity magazines on Friday, backing bipartisan talks in the Senate after Congress approved a new gun regulation bill Wednesday.

Of course, there remains a call to toughen the targets and to arm those found working in attacked areas.

Ajayi said the local outlook for doctors, at least those she spoke to, tends to be skeptical that increasing the level of defenses or increasing the presence of firearms in the hands of trained defenders would do much good for really determined patients. Turning healthcare sites into warehouses, he said, is unlikely to receive support from professional doctors who have been trained to increase access to care.

“The militarization of healthcare, this mentality of shelters, would do absolutely harm because it reduces access to care, it takes away patients’ autonomy,” he said. “At the end of the day, the marginalized patients are the ones who suffer the most.”

It is not clear how often violence, especially gun violence, occurs against doctors. Google searches show many anecdotal reports of similar cases by orthopedic surgeon was killed in a shot at a medical square in Rancho Mirage in 2020 to a disgruntled medical worker hunting his colleagues in a New York hospital in 2017.

San Diego’s highest risk situation for a local doctor occurred in 1994 when a patient angry at the outcome of a prostate operation shot Dr. George P. Szollar, a urologist, in the groin. The doctor survived and the 62-year-old perpetrator was sentenced to prison after escaping to Mexico.

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San Diego health systems assess security in wake of Tulsa shooting Source link San Diego health systems assess security in wake of Tulsa shooting

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