Bullet Resistant Architecture for Hospital and Healthcare Settings

29 October 2019
29 October 2019, Comments 0

No one likes to plan for worst-case scenarios, and yet it’s more important than ever to do so. After all, gun violence continues to be an urgent issue affecting public health and safety across all sectors of society. It only takes one attack to potentially harm dozens of people. Bullet resistant barrier products such as glass, doors, and furniture in hospitals and other facilities providing medical services has become a greater priority in recent years throughout the medical community. While hospital-based shooting incidents are thankfully relatively rare, they do occur. And they happen often enough to make hospitals and clinics the latest to put safety and security in the spotlight to secure both worker and patient safety.

Hospital and Healthcare Safety: Growing Concerns and Dangers

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are less safe than most workplaces. Several years ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration produced a report called Preventing Workplace Violence: A Road Map for Healthcare Facilities. Perhaps the most surprising and sobering statistics regarding physical security it reported was how the rate of violence in healthcare is five times greater than the private industry on average. 

The report also revealed that from 2011-2013, 75% of the nearly 25,000 workplace assaults reported happened in healthcare settings. Among healthcare workers, assaults made up around 11% of workplace injuries resulting in time away from work, as compared to 3% of injuries among all private-sector employees.

Many people are surprised to learn that healthcare workers are more likely to be the victims of physical assault than anyone would have thought. In fact, many have claimed they suffer physical assault more frequently than both police and corrections officers. This is especially true for nurses.

These alarming figures are proof enough that making hospitals and clinics safe for both employees and patients must become a higher priority in the healthcare sector. One of the best ways to enhance the safety and security of hospitals is through the installation of various bullet resistant products in their facilities such as bulletproof window glass and other barrier solutions.

When to Incorporate Bullet Resistant Architecture in Hospitals

While there aren’t a lot of new hospitals popping up all over the place, it is common for many hospitals to undergo significant renovation projects from year to year. The design phase of such projects is the ideal time to seize the opportunity for incorporating bullet resistant architecture to protect healthcare professionals, administrators, and the patients they serve. 

In spite of the challenges inherent in renovation projects in occupied, fully operational hospitals, these kinds of projects are happening all the time. A decade ago (2009), a total of 13.6 million square feet of hospital renovations and additions occurred. A more recent 2016 Hospital Construction Survey found that 70% of the 200+ responding hospitals said they have projects currently under construction or planned in the next three years, of which three-quarters are expansion or renovation projects. Every one of these projects is an opportunity to increase the security performance of the building to enhance the safety of healthcare workers and patients with bullet resistant products.

Better Hospital Security is Complicated but Worth the Effort

Hospitals are complex facilities, to begin with, let alone figuring out how to make them more secure. The sheer variety of people coming and going is astounding. There are the doctors and nurses, technicians, food service personnel, janitorial staff, administrative staff, and then, of course, the patients and people who come to visit them. That’s a lot to figure out! This is why it is so important for any kind of renovation, addition, or new construction project at a healthcare facility to think about safety and security. What’s needed in the design phase of such projects is a consideration for incorporating bulletproof solutions better project everyone involved. 

Areas where rethinking the typical approach in hospitals is needed include reception/registration and nursing stations. Having these areas be completely open with no protective barriers is a luxury that hospitals can no longer afford.

A Selection of Bullet Resistant Products to Make Hospitals Safer

At Creative Industries, we design to manufacture and install bulletproof products in all kinds of settings to physically protect people from gun violence. When people see our products in place, they automatically feel safer – a feeling that’s hard to put a price tag on. Here are some specific products we can make for hospitals and other healthcare facilities:

  • Reception/Registration Counters: The kinds of counters with high acrylic panels above are of a type often seen in banks and can accommodate both pass-through and natural voice transmission capabilities. Our Bullet Resistant Teller Counter gives you an idea of how it works, but we are happy to custom design the solution you want. 
  • Accounting/Payments: The area in the hospital where people go to pay their bill is another area deserving of bullet resistant glass products such as our selection of bulletproof security windows
  • Nursing Stations: It’s time to enclose nurses’ stations throughout hospitals, but they can still retain an open look and feel by using plenty of bulletproof glass as a barrier to protect these vital healthcare givers. 
  • Pharmacy Windows: Similar to the accounts payable area, places within the hospital that involves passing sensitive items back-and-forth, whether it be money, documents, or prescription medicines need greater security. We have a variety of pass-thrus, drawers, deal trays, and talk thrus that can be combined and configured to meet any specific security needs. 
  • Doors and Windows: Generally speaking, all doors and windows can be constructed of bulletproof materials and incorporate bullet resistant glass. 
  • Furniture: You might wonder why anyone would want bulletproof furniture. All you have to do is think about all the school shootings that have taken place in recent years to realize. We’ve been making a lot of bulletproof furniture for schools recently, and our know-how can easily be applied to hospitals and healthcare facilities to offer workers and patients additional safety if an active shooter situation occurs. 

 

Creative Industries was co-founded by brothers Mark and Mike Clark and has been designing and making custom bullet resistant products since 1970. Whether you need bulletproof windows, doors, or furniture, you can always rely on Creative Industries to deliver quality craftsmanship through agile manufacturing with competitive pricing. Feel free to get in touch to learn more and discuss your security needs by calling us toll-free at 888-994-6574, emailing us at mark.clark@creativeind.com, or filling out our web form.

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