"Silver" linings: Boston hospitals set protocols for active-shooter situations

In light of recent shooting rampages that have occurred anywhere from a movie theater, an elementary school and a Navy yard, many hospitals in the Boston area are developing protocols for a "Code Silver," or active shooter situation,  WBUR reports.

Major hospitals implementing Code Silver plans include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham & Women's, Boston Medical Center and Mass. General, according to the article. Last week, Brigham screened its new "Active Shooter Preparedness Training" video for about 1,200 clinicians and other employees. WBUR reports that the 10-minute video, created in cooperation with other hospitals, the Boston Police Department and Boston Emergency Medical Services, gives step-by-step instructions on the proper procedures for dealing with a shooter.

"An active shooter situation used to be a phrase only used by law enforcement but as these are occurring more frequently, it is something that people in all types of organizations, including hospitals and health care facilities must learn about and prepare for," the video states, according to WBUR.

The video will eventually be shown to about 16,000 Brigham employees and be made part of the hospital's yearly training requirement, according to the article. However, WBUR reports that all Massachusetts hospitals are adopting and performing 'Code Silver' drills of some type, including some 'shelter-in-place' drills as a result of the Marathon bombing aftermath," the Massachusetts Hospital Association said in a statement.

Hospital violence is an increasing concern within the healthcare sector. On Thursday, the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, one of the nation's busiest pediatric hospitals, was locked down after an armed man was shot and wounded as he fled police attempting to arrest him, according to the Chicago Tribune. No one else was injured, and the hospital said in a statement that there was "no danger to patients, families or employees," according to the article. Much like the Boston facilities, Wisconsin implemented and drilled for procedures, such as active-shooter situations last year, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

A study last September found that hospital shootings are difficult to prevent because they typically involve a "determined" shooter, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the WBUR article
- read the Tribune article
- check out the Journal-Sentinel article

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