Safety Updates

Our Commitment to Your Safety

We have all watched as acts of violence in healthcare settings have increased locally and nationally, and we are making your safety, and the safety of our patients and visitors, our No. 1 priority. While measures already in place have decreased violent acts at our hospital by 70% in the last four years, we are continuing to take a proactive approach so that you can feel safe, secure and protected from violence in the workplace.

Starting in March, Woman’s has hired 13 security response officers (SROs) that will provide 24/7 coverage, two per shift, in addition to the contract security staff which will remain at entrances, visitor check-in, and on mobile patrol. 

The SROs are all highly trained and skilled security professionals with backgrounds in law enforcement and/or military. They have received specialized training in the use of both lethal and non-lethal weapons, and have passed intense physical and mental screenings to be eligible for the role. They will be required to maintain these high standards/qualifications while employed as an SRO at Woman’s Hospital, and have the same firearm standards and requirements as Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers.

This hybrid approach is different from what other healthcare facilities are doing. We’re not simply hiring off-duty law enforcement as patrols or relying solely on contract security like many other hospitals do. We are managing our own armed security team of first responders and have full control over their training, certifications and readiness to respond. They are part of the Woman’s family just like you and are equally invested in the culture of safety we want to maintain on our campus. 

In devising this security plan, Woman’s has contracted with former Baton Rouge police chief Greg Phares, who has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement, to ensure our security measures will both deter and rapidly deescalate any situation that poses a threat to anyone on our campus. With his help, we truly feel that we have created a model that all hospitals should, and likely will, emulate in the future.

We are also upgrading other features and providing additional training to keep our campus safe:

  • A single-button lockdown system for patient and clinical care areas has been implemented in case of an active shooter event. A rapid reaction software system coupled with strong magnetic door devices can immediately shut and lock all doors with the push of a single button.
  • We have a “new” Active Shooter policy that is awaiting release pending the completion of both the implementation of the SRO integration and the single-button lockdown system. Once these are completed, we will proceed with a concentrated staff training and exercise effort in support of preparedness for any possible active shooter incident.
  • We will be enhancing our outdoor parking lot lighting this year to create a safer perimeter around the facility. We know you often come and go at night and want you to feel safe walking to and from your vehicle.
  • We have begun providing Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB) training to nurses and other staff to help recognize, reduce, and manage violent and aggressive behavior. If you have not received this training but would like to, please speak to your supervisor.

If you have any questions about any of these updates or other ways we are promoting safety at Woman’s, please reach out to your supervisor.