Your Healthcare Facility Must Have a Code Silver Plan in Place

October 22, 2014

Your Healthcare Facility Must Have a Code Silver Plan in Place

Since our last blog post about developing an emergency plan to handle a Code Silver (active shooter) event, we hope your healthcare facility has taken the steps to put safety first for your workers and patients.

If you’re still on the fence about the need for such a plan, a recent FBI study (with help from Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center) that measured active shooter incidents should help you reconsider your stance.

After their review of 160 active shooter incidents from the end of 2000 to 2013 — including incidents at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech University, Aurora, Colo., the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum — the FBI uncovered an alarming uptick in the number of shootings.

Over the past seven years, some 16.4 active shooter incidents occurred each year, nearly tripling the amount recorded during the first half of the study (6.4 per year).

Also, the number of Americans killed during these incidents (1,043) was divided nearly equally between those who were merely wounded and the remainder who died.

The hope for the study is that it “demonstrates the need not only for enhanced preparation on the part of law enforcement and other first responders, but also for civilians to be engaged in discussions and training on decisions they’d have to make in an active shooter situation,” says FBI Special Agent Katherine Schweit who manages the agency’s Active Shooter initiative.

California requires workplace violence plans

While the federal government is taking a deeper dive into studying the active shooter problem, California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law SB 1299, a law that would require hospitals to develop comprehensive workplace violence plans.

Slated to go into effect in 2015, the new law requires extra training for healthcare workers who provide direct care to patients and greater employee security in parking lots and other areas surrounding hospitals, especially during late-night and early-morning work shifts, says California State Sen. Alex Padilla who sponsored the legislation.

In addition, the California law requires plans to evaluate staffing levels, the quality of security systems and the availability of security personnel.

Prior to SB 1299, California hospitals were only responsible for creating workplace violence prevention plans only for high-risk areas and emergency room departments.

Look for more suggestions about keeping your healthcare facility safe by subscribing to our Facebook and Twitter feeds that are frequently updated each week.

For assistance on developing a Code Silver plan for your healthcare facility, contact Vanguard Resources.