New Safety Precautions at Hilo Medical Center’s Emergency Department

In light of the March 20 incident in the Emergency Department, we have updated patient and visitor safety procedures. Staffing for security officers in the Emergency Department has been increased to screen patients and visitors upon entering the Emergency Department at both the main entrance and medic entrance. Security officers are “wanding” patients and visitors to prevent dangerous instruments from entering our Emergency Department. This additional security measure has already produced positive results. According to a Hawaii Police Department’s April 4 media release a “Kurtistown man (was) arrested on firearm offenses.” Other safety measures in the Emergency Department include enforcing the one visitor per patient policy. We are also asking patients to change into a gown if they appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or are seeking care for behavioral health issues.

In an effort to bring closure and healing to our staff, we asked Kahu Kimo Awai to bless our Emergency Department and we held a celebration to recognize the staff for their courage. See the Hawaii Tribune-Herald’s coverage from March 21, March 22, March 23, April 4, April 20 and Civil Beat’s April 17 story, Airport-Style Security Comes To Hilo Hospital After Stabbings.