BUFFALO, Minn. — “Horrific, unimaginable,” says Dr. Rahul Koranne.
Dr. Rahul Koranne is the president of the Minnesota Hospital Association. He says Tuesday’s shooting – left many in the healthcare industry shocked and on edge. According to OSHA, workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings face higher risks of workplace violence.
“What we do in our clinics and our hospital sites is to prepare, prepare, prepare,” says Dr. Koranne.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the health care and social service industries experience the highest rates of injuries caused by workplace violence and are five times as likely to suffer a workplace violence injury than workers overall - with violence against healthcare staff increasing in recent years.
Along with the COVID-19 pandemic maximizing it further, security expert Richard Sem says smaller clinics may be most at risk.
“Smaller clinics may not have their own security as in a larger hospital and that poses it’s own challenges,” says Richard Sem, a security expert with Sem Security Management.
Back in 2019, North Memorial Hospital was placed on lockdown after dozens of people started fighting. Most recently in October, Hennepin County Medical Center was temporarily shut down after a bullet hit the window near the Emergency Dept.
The Minnesota Nurses Association issued a statement in response to yesterday’s shooting, saying members “were shocked and saddened yet another act of violence.” The organization went on to say, “When nurses reflect on the increase of violence in the healthcare setting, tragic incidents such as the one at St. John’s Hospital in 2015, plague their thoughts and often result in nurses leaving the bedside.”
While Korrane says nurses and healthcare specialist have been working day and night during the pandemic, he hopes the industry can learn from this latest tragedy.
“We will heal from this,” says Dr. Korrane.
Allina Health issued a statement saying although this appears to be an isolated incident, they’re increasing security at all of their facilities.