HCN News & Notes

AMA Talks Security Following Shooting of Boston Surgeon

CHICAGO — Fewer than six months after a Boston cardiac surgeon was fatally shot by an individual with a suspected grudge, the American Medical Assoc. (AMA) voted this week in support of a study that would look at the various ways to prevent violence against healthcare providers while in the workplace.

“It’s imperative that healthcare providers feel safe and secure while caring for their patients,” said AMA Board Chair Dr. Stephen Permut. “Given that there are currently no clear interventions proposed to ensure a safer and more secure environment for healthcare providers, the AMA is committed to taking the necessary steps to help shed light on the various protocols, procedures, and mechanisms that can be put in place to do so.”

According to a study in Annals of Emergency Medicine, there have been more than 150 shootings in healthcare facilities in the past decade, which has prompted some states to adopt legislation banning guns in hospital settings. Another study done this past year showed that 28{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of emergency physicians reported being physically assaulted while at work. Recent evidence also points to an increase in violent acts toward healthcare providers both inside and outside the workplace.

“It’s clear that we need to explore more ways to curb the incidence of violence against America’s healthcare providers,” Permut said, “and this new policy puts us on the path to finding new ways to protect these individuals, who devote their lives to improving the health and well-being of their patients.”