Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center to implement weapons screening

Amid recent shootings at healthcare facilities across the country, Essentia Health is implementing a new safety screening process at St. Mary’s Medical Center emergency department.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 26, anyone who uses the primary ED entrance will be subject to weapons screening.

The screening process involves standing on a special mat and turning slowly for 15 seconds. Beforehand, visitors will be asked to place their personal items on a nearby shelf for inspection.

Essentia Health says screening for weapons is a part of safety protocols at hospitals around the country, and the process is similar to what you encounter when entering other public venues, such as courthouses, airports or concerts.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care workers’ risk of injury due to workplace violence is five times greater than that of workers in other industries.

In the event that a patient needs immediate care, their security team will conduct a screening with a hand-held wand when caregivers say it is medically appropriate.