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June • 2 • 2022

Healthcare Violence Prevention Resources


By Coverys Risk Management



While there is no way to absolutely predict or prevent an active-shooter situation, your facility can reduce risks by developing an active shooter response plan and working with local law enforcement.

From schools to shopping malls, it seems that no public place is safe from the threat of violence, particularly in the form of an active shooter. If your healthcare facility faced such a threat, would you be prepared? Below are resources to aid your efforts.

Articles by Coverys

Preparing for a Potential Active Shooter
Active shooter incidents at healthcare facilities present unique challenges. Your staff may feel conflicted about leaving patients, and evacuations may be limited due to medical procedures in progress, as well as the age, illness, or injury of patients. Having an established plan for responding to an active shooter can make a significant impact not only on the outcome of the situation but also on your staff members’ ability to respond quickly and appropriately. Consider these recommendations to help your facility prevent, reduce, or limit the shooter’s access to potential victims and reduce or prevent casualties. More

Responding to an Active Shooter
Considering the possibility of an active shooter situation is an uncomfortable reality for most public places, including hospitals and medical facilities. Preparation for an active shooter event is only half the battle ― you must know how to put that preparation into action when the time comes. As part of a comprehensive training program, consider active-shooter simulated drills with the involvement of local law enforcement and other key community response teams. By making proper preparations and providing appropriate training to staff members, you can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and loss of life. More

Use of Plain Language Codes Can Save Lives
Plain language is communication that everyone can understand the first time they see or hear it. The implementation and use of plain language codes is designed to reduce code confusion, with the purpose of effectively communicating emergency situations quickly, clearly and to mobilize assistance and resources immediately. Plain language alerts provide transparency and can be clearly understood without further explanation. Those hearing or seeing the alert know immediately what actions are required based on the information received. The use of plain language can eliminate the need for further interpretation. More

Workplace Violence Prevention: Behavior De-escalation
Educating staff members in de-escalating aggression before it becomes violent is a key risk management strategy for providing the safest possible environment for healthcare workers. Violence develops on a continuum. The skillful use of behavior de-escalation techniques in the early stages of violence can prevent many of these situations from escalating into dangerous, physical, high-level violence. The first step in preventing violence is understanding patient, setting, and organizational risk factors. More

Other Information of Interest

Road to Resiliency - Preparedness and Response: Planning for Mass Violence
American Hospital Association

Workplace Violence Best Practices for the Worst Case
American Hospital Association

Active Shooter Preparedness
Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

Pathway to Violence: Warning Signs and What You Can Do
Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

Active Shooter Planning and Response: Learn How to Survive a Shooting Event in a Healthcare Setting
Florida Health

How Robust is Your Practice's Emergency Planning and Disaster Preparedness?

Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers

An Active Shooter in Physician Offices: Planning for the Unthinkable
Physicians Practice


Copyrighted. No legal or medical advice intended. This post includes general risk management guidelines. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal or medical developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal or medical advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. 


  • Risk Management & Patient Safety