Investigation of healthcare professionals’ knowledge of actions during an active shooter event

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Investigation of healthcare professionals’ knowledge of actions during an active shooter event

Category: Mass Shootings|Journal: Perioperative Care and Operating Room Management (full text)|Author: A Parmar, E George, J Ferguson, M Farrell, M Hemingway, M Thomas, W Levine|Year: 2019

Objective

While active shooter events are rare in the hospital setting, and, even less likely in the perioperative environment, it remains a top risk as identified by the annual Hazard Vulnerability Analysis. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge that perioperative clinicians and staff gain from a comprehensive multidisciplinary education program.

 

Design

The quasi-experimental mixed methods study was a pre-test/post-test design to assess knowledge acquisition after an education aimed at illustrating the best actions to take in an active shooter situation.

 

Setting

Perioperative personnel, including surgeons, anesthesia providers, and nursing staff at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, MA attended an emergency preparedness presentation specifically focused on an active shooter situation. Our Operating Room (OR) employs many clinicians from all disciplines and cares for 37,000 surgical cases each year.

 

Participants

The sample was a non-random, convenience sample of all perioperative clinicians and staff who work within perioperative services. This included Attending Anesthesia Providers and Surgeons, Fellows and Resident staff, Perioperative Nursing staff, and Central Sterile Processing Service staff.

 

Methods

The quasi-experimental mixed methods study was a pre-test/post-test design to assess knowledge acquisition after an education aimed at illustrating the best actions to take in an active shooter situation. Multidisciplinary perioperative team members were invited to participate in a 90-min session. Real-time web-based questions were asked before, during and after the session.

 

Results

Our results indicate that this program increased staff member’s knowledge regarding communication strategies (p < 2.2 × 10−16), identifying egress (p = 5.3 × 10−9) and self-defense objects (p = 2.18 × 10−6) and understanding safe hiding spots (p < 2.2 × 10−16). We did not find a significant difference in understanding concepts related to run, hide, fight (p = 0.091).

 

Conclusions

A multidisciplinary active shooter exercise was effective in increasing the knowledge that perioperative personnel had around emergency preparedness strategies. We recommend a continuation of these activities to educate the perioperative clinician regarding an active shooter event.

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