Hospital Security

Healthcare and Hospital Security Services

In as much as hospitals are healing institutions, they’re also public places. As such, they face serious security threats like those increasingly plaguing other public environments. According to Gabor Kelen, emergency medicine chair at Johns Hopkins University and a director at the National Center for the Study of Preparedness and  Catastrophic Events Response, ‘Hospital security is quite different from other kinds of security.” 

Since hospitals should be welcoming places, the idea of making them fortresses isn’t feasible. But this doesn’t mean you forego hiring solid security services. In any case, hospitals are vulnerable to violence and crime from visitors, patients and sometimes their own staff. Which is why they require security systems with proactive protocols geared towards readiness, responsiveness and accountability. 

Yet, to build or employ the most ideal security system for the hospital you’re running, you must first understand the threats themselves:

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4 Security Threats Hospital Face Today

Battery and Abuse towards Medical Staff

Battery and assault towards medical staff are arguably the most common of abuse-related violations that occur in hospitals. Research shows that at least 80% of all violent incidents in hospitals are as a result of medical staff interacting with patients. Also, these incidents are likely to be in the form of the patient hitting, beating, shoving, and/ or kicking the medical staff. 

According to a different study, violence against nurses and nursing students is pervasive in healthcare facilities. For instance, 59% of emergency department nurses experience verbal abuse, while 12% face physical violence- within a 12 month period. 

What’s causing all the abuse? Usually, the patient is a victim of a dispute, which leads to a hostile environment in the hospital. Or the patient is simply suffering from mental or addiction health issues. 

 

Infant Abductions

This type of abduction is quite common in hospitals. According to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), there were about 327 incidents of infant abduction between 1965 and 2017. Indeed, many infant abduction cases occur in a hospital’s mother’s room in the maternity wing, with 8% of the mothers suffering violence. 

 

What’s more, many perpetrators of such crimes disguise themselves as staff. Which exhibits the need for a more comprehensive hospital security approach. 

 

Active Assailant Attacks

Researchers at Brown University reported 241 hospital shootings between 2000 and 2015 alone. If anything, 29% of these shootings occurred in the emergency room, 23% at the parking lot, and 19% in patients’ rooms. Most of these shooting events involve a determined perpetrator with a strong motive. Maybe a grudge (27%), suicide (21%), prisoner escape (11%), and “euthanizing” an ill relative (14%). 

The unpredictable nature of shooting events represents a serious challenge to effective hospital security and deterrence practices. 

 

Property and Supplies Theft

From medical supplies, food, drugs, you could easily make an A-Z list of the things stolen from hospitals. One of the most significant downsides to hospital theft leads is unnecessary overhead costs. For instance, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Centre in San Jose losing 323 pieces of equipment to theft between 2010 and 2014. This loss costs them slightly over 11 million dollars. 

Culprits of hospital theft are mostly visitors, patients, and also staff. In any case, if your hospital has many cases of theft, you likely have a vulnerable security system. 

The pointers above are just part of the reasons why hospitals need security. Unfortunately, most hospitals don’t invest in proper security systems because of the pressure to cut costs. 

For example, between 2016 and 2017, 49% of hospitals in the US had an increase in crime within their facilities. But nearly 1 in 4 of these hospitals reported a decrease in their hospital security budget during the same period. As part of their strategy to reduce costs, hospitals usually choose not to hire more security personnel even in the face of increased threats. 

Given its impact on hospital security measures like security equipment, employee staffing, and training, the pressure to reduce costs is arguably the most devastating restraint to effective security solutions. 

What’s the Role of Hospital Security? 

Considering that hospitals receive thousands of visitors daily, it’s quite difficult to foresee anyone’s intentions or identify a rogue element in the crowd. As such, unexpected and undesirable situations such as arguments, accidents, noisy scenes, or theft will keep happening within healthcare facilities. 

So hospitals must invest in a separate and specialized department to deal with security issues only. Remember, in as much as security and safety is the responsibility of all staff members, technical personnel who are busy caring for patients have neither training nor time for security matters. While the patients themselves are incapable of safeguarding their belongings or lives. 

This is where hospital security comes in. The role of a hospital security service is to prevent and manage any breach in security. It consists of packages like protecting the hospital, the public/ patients, the hospital staff/ property, controlling traffic, and running a lost and found department. 

Our company even offers emergency room security as well as escorts for staff who are leaving work late. Not only that. For your hospital to be well-secured it will need the following infrastructure: 

 

Physical Facilities

Any health facility needs a control room/ security office in a strategic area like the ground floor. This office should feature a good communication system as well as CCTV monitors. A hospital also requires several guard posts (in the open) with proper enclosures for privacy and weather protection. 

 

Organization and Staffing

You need an experienced security expert with full training on the various security techniques to run the security operations. Guards and supervisors should also have sufficient expertise in hospital security issues. However, the number of security personnel you’ll need depends on the type and size of your hospital. 

 

Operating Policies and Procedures

Your hospital needs a documented security manual detailing the procedures and policies of every aspect of hospital security. This document should also include the charter of responsibilities and duties of all your security personnel. 

 

Planned Companies at Your Service

Does setting up a solid hospital security system seem like too much work? Or do you fear it’s too expensive? Why don’t you talk to us? 

Planned Security Services has all the solutions your health facility needs to run smoothly. We provide the highest possible level of security service. Which encompasses strategic round-the-clock surveillance, vigilant personnel, fast response time, and top-notch security training for hospital staff. 

We’ve been doing this successfully for years so trust us to walk the talk. Contact us today! 

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