April 20, 2010 | | Comments 0
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Knoxville shootings offer a chance to review your security training

A terrible shooting at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, TN, on Monday — one victim and the alleged gunman are dead, two other victims are hospitalized — proves how rapidly a security incident can unfold. It’s likely the suspect shot his victims and then killed himself before police and security officers even had a chance to help.

In such cases, it seems the priority is survival for other healthcare workers and the patients they serve. The details that will come in Knoxville over the next few days about the shooting may bring all hospitals an opportunity to double-check their security procedures. This isn’t to place any blame at the feet of Parkwest, but rather to recognize that any tragedy can result indirectly in new lessons learned.

But my words are hollow writing from a publishing company’s office. It’s up to you in the field as safety professionals to keep tabs on this story and,  more importantly, verify that your staff know what to do if a similar situations occur on your campus.

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Filed Under: Environment of care

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Scott Wallask About the Author: Scott Wallask is senior managing editor for HCPro's Hospital Safety Center (www.hospitalsafetycenter.com) and the award-winning newsletters, Briefings on Hospital Safety and Healthcare Life Safety Compliance. He has written about healthcare for HCPro since 1998, with a focus on occupational and building safety, emergency management, fire protection, and infection control. Prior to joining HCPro, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers in eastern Massachusetts. He holds a BA in print journalism, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University in Boston. Contact Scott at swallask@hcpro.com.

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