Local hospital taking steps to keep doctors and patients safer

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- The shooting at Mercy Hospital has other facilities looking at their procedures, and what they can do to keep employees safe.

An emergency room in Camden, New Jersey made changes a few years ago.

For a while, many doctors and nurses and other staff who work inside emergency rooms just considered violence to be a part of the job. But that mindset is changing and rightfully so. Many hospitals have now taken steps to keep both workers and patients safer.

Saddened by the news out of Chicago, Dr. Jenice Baker at Our Lady of Lourdes Emergency Department says Monday's shooting at a hospital underscores the importance of safety protocols put in place.

The ER here has a two visitor policy and a strict screening process for everyone.

"Anyone coming in to our emergency department has to be screened by a metal detector and if they come in by ambulance, also screening by security at the bedside with a metal wand detector," said Dr. Baker.

Employees are also trained to try to de-escalate situations, but get security involved sooner if there are signs something may turn violent.

"So that our healthcare staff are not taking on the role of security officers," said Dr. Baker.

Lourdes also runs active shooter drills for employees twice a year. Mercy Hospital in Chicago just had their first active shooter drill a few weeks before yesterday's shooting.
"I think it definitely limited the amount of casualites faced there," said Dr. Baker. "It is a scenario where someone comes in shooting, sounds like gun shots and we have to think about where we would go to protect ourselves and protect our patients."

She says having that training can save your life and you never know when you'll need to use it.

Several states have also passed laws to make penalties steeper for anyone who commits an act of assault against an employee at a hospital.

Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.