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Austin Hospital Crash: A Catalyst for Change in Emergency Room Safety

On Feb. 13, 2024, at 5:35 p.m., an Acura sedan slammed through the emergency room doors at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center.  One person died, and five others were seriously injured.  Within a week, we had begun sharing data and working with parties in Austin to identify what had happened, why it had happened, and how it could have been prevented.  Out of those discussions has come "Preventing DisastER" a multi-month effort to document the causes and frequency of crashes into medical facilities and critical infrastructure including hospital emergency rooms.

Look for updates about efforts to create an Austin city ordinance requiring protective bollards at exposed emergency room entrances, discussions with state legislators in Texas to create a statewide critical infrastructure protection measure, and the creation of partnerships among medical groups, hospital owners and administrators, and safety organizations nationwide to provide answers to questions as to the need for protection of a critical civilian resource against foreseeable and preventable events.

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