National trends are showing an increase in aggressive behavior in Emergency Departments across the United States. It is EMMC’s first priority to keep patients, families, and staff members safe and secure in all areas of our medical center. We have a long history of taking extra security measures in our Emergency Department, and a robust security plan in place.
As part of that plan, EMMC has implemented the use of a metal detector and x-ray machine for those entering the Emergency Department. While EMMC has not seen an increase in dangerous objects being brought into the Emergency Department, we are taking a proactive approach to enhance safety. This type of screening has become commonplace in many organizations, and it is our goal to meet, and exceed, people’s expectations that we are being as vigilant about their safety as we can be. Patients whose medical condition indicates they can’t wait to be screened will, of course, bypass the metal detection process and brought immediately to a room for medical assessment and appropriate treatment. EMMC will have metal detection wanding capabilities for use as needed as well.
Each day, for many years now, at least one security guard is assigned in the Emergency Department, with a police officer on site from 8 pm to 2 am. Additional officers are assigned for incidents and for one-to-one patient observations to keep overly aggressive patients from harming themselves or others, as needed. All security officers and many Emergency staff have Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB) training. This training teaches techniques to de-escalate patients or visitors who are agitated or aggressive.
Twenty-one security cameras watch over the Emergency Department, staff may call help using security alert buttons located in several places, and access to the department is controlled by a computerized locking system on the doors.
We understand that the events that require an Emergency Department visit are stressful and emotional. We also understand that aggression can sometimes be a manifestation of illness. EMMC is here to help people. By layering many strategies for keeping patients and others safe and secure in our Emergency Department, we can assure that the focus of the department can remain, rightly, on high quality care of the sick and injured.