Up­ping the ante in hospi­tal se­cu­rity

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Out­liers knows hos­pi­tals can be dan­ger­ous places to work. But a hospi­tal in In­dia has adopted a novel ap­proach to tamp down vi­o­lence: bounc­ers.

One of the new hires is Pradeep Ku­mar, a mus­cu­lar man in shades and tat­toos who rides a mo­tor­cy­cle to work. He and his burly col­leagues keep the emer­gency and la­bor rooms from fill­ing up with pa­tients’ of­ten ag­i­tated rel­a­tives and friends. The bounc­ers are po­lite, yet so tough-look­ing that peo­ple think twice about ig­nor­ing their or­ders.

“These guys look like they walked right out of an ac­tion movie,” Pawan De­sai, who brought his 4-year-old daugh­ter to Deen Dayal Upad­hyay Hospi­tal in New Delhi for treat­ment for a cut on her hand, told the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Work­ing in an In­dian hospi­tal can be per­ilous. In April, a week be­fore Deen Dayal hired the bounc­ers, friends of an emer­gency-room pa­tient punched a doc­tor in the face and broke his nose be­fore go­ing on a ram­page with hockey sticks, swing­ing at win­dows, lights, fur­ni­ture and med­i­cal staff.

The med­i­cal staff at the gov­ern­ment hospi­tal had faced nearly one at­tack a month and had gone on strike 20 times over six years de­mand­ing bet­ter se­cu­rity. Since the hospi­tal re­placed its mid­dle-aged, pot-bel­lied guards with bar bounc­ers, body­guards, and wrestlers sport­ing mus­cles and tat­toos, “There hasn’t been a sin­gle in­ci­dent,” says Dr. Nitin Seth, the doc­tor who was injured in April. “These guys do a good job con­trol­ling the crowds,” he says.

Thou­sands of at­tacks oc­cur in In­dian hos­pi­tals ev­ery year, says Dr. Naren­dra Saini, spokesman for the In­dian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion.

When some­one dies in the hospi­tal, rel­a­tives of­ten start blam­ing— even at­tack­ing—doc­tors. At ex­pen­sive pri­vate hos­pi­tals, fam­i­lies feel es­pe­cially cheated, Saini says. “They ex­pect their pa­tient to live be­cause that’s what they paid for.”

AP PHOTO

Amar­jeet Singh, one of the 20 bounc­ers now on staff at Deen Dayal Upad­hyay Hospi­tal, helps a pa­tient on a stretcher.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.