Cleveland Clinic confiscated 30K weapons last year

In 2023, Cleveland Clinic saw a record 14 million patients — and took 30,000 weapons from those patients and their visitors. 

Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, president, CEO and Morton L. Mandel CEO Chair of Cleveland Clinic, delivered the statistic during the system's annual "State of the Clinic" address Jan. 24. 

He did not specify what sorts of weapons were confiscated, but for comparison, the Transportation Security Administration confiscated a record 6,737 firearms at airport security checkpoints last year. 

Cleveland Clinic, which employs 81,000 people across 300 global locations, was designed to be an "optimal work environment," Dr. Mihaljevic said: engaging, rewarding, inclusive and safe. 

But workers' safety was threatened thousands of times last year, with caregivers reporting 3,800 incidents of physical and verbal violence. 

In addition to installing magnetometers in every emergency department — allowing the health system to confiscate tens of thousands of weapons — Cleveland Clinic is continuing to bolster its police and security presence and is providing de-escalation training for caregivers, Dr. Mihaljevic said. 

The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that in 2021, healthcare and social services industry workers recorded 453,200 nonfatal injuries — more than any other industry. In response to rising rates of violence, some organizations are adopting codes of conduct for patients and families. And in September, the Senate introduced a bill that would make it a federal crime to knowingly assault a hospital worker; offenders could face up to 20 years in prison. 

"Violence against healthcare workers is a silent epidemic," Dr. Mihaljevic said. "Violence will never be accepted as a part of our job."

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