An Expert-Approved Step-by-Step Guide to Improving Hospital Security
Maintaining hospital security today is more challenging than it used to be a couple of years ago, which is why more and more hospitals have decided to implement more advanced security measures.
Besides video surveillance, panic buttons, and similar systems that enhance the overall safety, healthcare facilities hire professional hospital security services to ensure the highest protection level. The truth is that hospitals are exposed to many security issues that require more complex approaches that won’t only reduce violent behavior but also enhance the facility’s performance and efficiency.
Let’s take a look at the 10 essential steps for taking hospital security to the next level, including the most convenient ways of implementing safety measures.
Hospital Security at a Glanse
Why Is It Important to Have Security at Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities?
Believe it or not, hospitals and healthcare facilities are at risk of numerous security challenges that should be managed with adequate security measures. Here are some of the most common exposures healthcare facilities may face:
Violence and Abuse Towards Medical Staff
Violence and abuse towards medical staff are among the most common incidents that occur in healthcare facilities. They may vary from mild to severe, and they are often provoked by patients hitting, kicking, beating, or verbally assaulting doctors, nurses, or psychiatric aids, who are at the highest risk of being abused.
Active Incidents and Attacks
Assailant attacks, active shootings, and similar incidents often occur in emergency rooms, parking lots, and patient rooms. Due to the increased number of these incidents, more and more hospitals have implemented more progressive safety measures, including hiring an armed hospital security guard that has gone through the necessary training and has passed all the exams that prove their knowledge and efficiency in dealing with potentially dangerous events.
Property and Equipment Theft
Thefts are quite common in hospital buildings. Medicines, food, drugs, and medical supplies are just some things that get stolen from the facility, resulting in high costs and affected security. Therefore, it is essential to install proper video surveillance near the places where you keep your medical equipment, food, and other critical stuff.
Other incidents that may take place at hospitals include patient elopements, problems controlling hospital access, and car break-ins. Security hazards on parking lots can also be severe – see how to improve parking lot security with the 12 critical tips and prevent the most frequent security challenges.
10 Essential Steps for Improving Hospital Security
Now that you are aware of your healthcare facility’s security challenges, you should develop a comprehensive security plan that will help you manage the risks with a higher efficiency level.
Here is the checklist of the 10 vital steps you should perform to take your hospital’s protection to another level and create a safe environment for your employees, patients, and visitors.
1. Identify Your Risks and Perform Risk Assessment
The best way to improve hospital security is by identifying your risks and evaluating your current safety plan’s strengths and weaknesses. By performing risk assessment, you will know what to do to create a safer environment and reduce the risks of assaults, theft, vandalism, and similar hazards that may disturb the clinic’s workflow.
2. Hire Top-Notch Healthcare Security Services
By investing in your hospital security, you’re offering an environment where people feel safe and protected. Whenever you think that your facility needs more protection, don’t hesitate to hire a professional security guard company whose team ensures excellent protection from theft, vandalism, assaults, and similar inconveniences that affect the safety of your patients and staff.
A well-trained security guard provides a safe space for medical workers, acting whenever a patient becomes erratic or a drug seeker comes and doesn’t want to leave. Besides, a team of professionals can check whether all the security systems are up to date, keeping people on their best behavior.
3. Have Security Guards Handle Inappropriate Behavior
Hospitals are places that provoke different emotions that may result in anger or aggression. Such behavior can turn into an uncomfortable scenario since some people may become unable to control themselves or even try to hurt someone.
A hospital security officer knows how to handle people who become angry, and they will try to calm them down. If such an approach doesn’t work, they can secure the person or escort them out of the building.
It is vital to have security guards in these situations. Otherwise, all the responsibilities will fall under the care of doctors and medical staff, preventing them from focusing on their jobs.
4. Hire Security Guards to Prevent Property Damage
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are prone to property damage, which can lead to extremely high costs and disturbances in the workflow. Property damage often results from patients’ wild and aggressive behavior, which is why you need to stop it before the situation gets worse.
Again, security guards play a significant role in stopping inappropriate behavior that can lead to severe property damage and cause many inconveniences that affect the clinic’s workflow and overall safety.
5. Consider Hiring a Mobile Patrol
Since hospitals are open 24/7, they are exposed to violence resulting from gang-related issues, domestic violence, mentally unstable patients unable to control their aggression or people under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Bigger hospital complexes are at higher risk of the above-mentioned inconveniences since it is much more difficult to secure each facility area. Therefore, you should consider hiring responsive and reliable mobile patrols, which is an ideal solution for large properties and spaces open to the public. Since these guards operate in vehicles, you can expect a faster response to potential criminal activities and prevent damages resulting from them.
6. Implement Super Safe Access Control
Access control refers to securing all the vital entrances and determining who can access these areas and who cannot. For example, these can be spots reserved for medical professionals only or wings with specific visitor hours.
By placing security guards on specific entrances, you will have extra control over who is entering and leaving the building. That way, you’ll keep your patients, staff, and their belongings safe from potential perils that come from unknown people. Besides, all the individuals in the building will feel much safer knowing that the facility is entirely secured.
7. Control the Visitors
Visitors are among the most common threats to both patients and staff. The majority of thefts come from visitors who roam around the facility, entering the rooms and stealing the patients’ valuables. Hence, encourage patients and their families to enter the hospital with less cash and valuables to reduce the risk of being robbed.
Use a visitor management system to get to know who’s entering the building. Have a security guard scan visitor’s driver’s license, record the name of the patient and room number a guest wants to visit, and require a new check-in for every day a visitor comes.
Even though visitors may not feel welcome when they need to go through all those processes, remember that their ability to walk freely around the hospital is a significant security threat.
8. Install Video Surveillance
Active video surveillance is a must when it comes to hospital security. It works as an additional protection layer that helps your security guards detect the potential criminal activity more quickly, allowing you to do your job while they’re monitoring the cameras. An up-to-date video surveillance system helps you keep track of what is going on inside and outside the facility.
Apart from allowing you to prevent wrongdoers from performing criminal activities, cameras can help you catch the criminal and prove their guilt. Besides, patients and medical staff will feel much safer knowing that the areas are covered with working cameras.
9. Install Panic Buttons
Panic buttons are an excellent way of mitigating the risk of potential danger. We recommend you install panic buttons on so-called high-risk areas such as emergency room entrances, hospital pharmacies, and reception desks. That way, your staff will be able to easily hit the button if the situation becomes dangerous and notify local police.
10. Invest in Lighting and Smart Design
The lack of adequate lighting and maintenance of rooms, corridors, parking lots, and other areas can put your facility at risk of being robbed or attacked. High bushes, trees, and décor that blocks the employees’ view provide criminals with many opportunities to hide and perform their actions less effortlessly. Shadowy areas caused by burnt-out bulbs, dim lighting, or inadequate light spacing is also a vulnerability that requires your attention.
Instead of investing in lavish landscaping that could be a severe exposure, make sure your facility’s design looks smart both inside and outside. That way, you’ll be able to prevent the damage before it’s too late, and your security guards can act more quickly and seamlessly.