Gunplay in a Boston hospital emergency room underscores the challenges healthcare facilities face when serving law enforcement needs to treat prisoners. A growing number of hospitals now have policies when involved in forensic situations but, often, police or correctional officers evade the rules.

In the latest incident, a deputy sheriff shot an inmate in the emergency room of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary July 31 after the inmate grabbed an officer’s gun after his handcuffs were removed and shot the officer in the leg. The second officer immediately fired his weapon striking the inmate, and causing the 6-hour closure of the emergency room while authorities investigated.

Among policies: notification to hospital security of a prisoner patient in-house as well as rules regarding handcuffing and escorts.