As COVID cases continue to soar and hospitals reach their limit, maintaining hospital security and the safety of patients and staff is becoming ever more difficult. With more people to watch comes less focus on securing other areas like sensitive patient data, medical equipment, and even biological samples.
Moreover, large hospitals often have multiple access points, and those with emergency divisions are typically open 24/7. All of these elements increase a healthcare organization’s exposure to risk, and leave them vulnerable to dangerous situations.
Here we offer 6 hospital security tips that healthcare and medical centers can follow to strengthen their safety measures to keep patients and staff secure.
1. Reduce public access areas
Public areas can include the lobby, restrooms, waiting rooms, and gift shops. Really anywhere that visitors and guests can congregate. If a hospital has a large number of public areas that are either not being used or not properly monitored, then it may consider closing off those areas to the public. By limiting access to these rooms, it will become easier to identify and remove unwanted visitors.
2. Hire on-site security personnel
On-site security staff can help prevent and deter criminal activity, as well as thwart any threats before they progress to dangerous levels. Foot patrols monitor an assigned route and report any suspicious activity. Front desk concierges can check visitors and patients in, while also denying access to those that don’t belong there.
3. Install video surveillance
In addition to on-site security, installing a video surveillance system can act as a force multiplier, and enable your security team to have eyes on all areas at once. With boots on the ground and remote monitoring working hand in hand, an offsite dispatcher can alert an on-site foot patrol about suspicious activity, or call law enforcement.
4. Secure all entry points
Make sure all entry points are either locked or have personnel checking in guests. Doors to sensitive areas can also have card-only access to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering. And don’t prop open any doors! Even if it’s just for a few minutes, an intruder could quickly slip in if you’re not carefully watching the door.
5. Require identification for all staff and visitors
ID badges for hospital staff and medical personnel can be used for identification and as entry access tools. For visitors, taking a photo once they check in and printing a temporary badge can help identify them and ensure they do not overstay their welcome.
6. Ensure easy mobility
Hospitals must accommodate emergencies and need to be able to move around patients ranging from seriously ill to those doing outpatient procedures. If someone is in critical condition, being able to quickly transport them from one wing to another can make the difference between life and death. Therefore, ensuring a medical campus’ layout makes it easy to access workstations and move around stretchers is imperative.
Once you have a functional design, your security personnel can create emergency routes for different scenarios, such as fire escapes or an active shooter situation.
Ready to create a stronger security strategy for your medical campus? Contact us.