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Physical Security Practices for the Healthcare Environment

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In today’s healthcare environment, physical security is an immense challenge. Perhaps unsurprisingly in an often emotionally charged environment, violence is one of the top security issues in both large and small healthcare facilities. So how can hospitals keep patients and staff safe? Here are some top tips for developing patient/staff-related security policies.

Look for Warning Signs

People do not typically act violently out of the blue. Usually, there are warning signs that looking back, were missed. Develop a list of signs that could lead to violence and a procedure for reporting threatening or unusual behaviors.

Develop A Workplace Violence Policy

Develop an effective healthcare-specific, workplace-violence policy that links to and is in sync with all related policies in all departments, including human resources, nursing, legal and security, and domestic violence departments.

Develop a Threat Assessment Team

Develop a behavioral health specialist-led threat-assessment team, providing training for staff and the threat-assessment team, and effective reporting procedures for staff, patients and visitors who witness threatening or unusual behaviors.

Control and Validate Access

Use access control between all critical areas of the facility and vet all identities before granting access.

Visually Monitor the Facility

Maintain a visual of all critical areas, both inside and outside of your facility. This can help identify potentially problematic behaviors before individuals come in contact with employees and provide earlier intervention.

Use Design as Security Features

Build security features into the design of the facility such as having smaller more secure waiting areas for visitors exhibiting elevated levels of stress, and centrally located and highly visible security stations.

Evaluate Physical Security Technologies

Bring in a security technology expert to evaluate the technologies you have in place, as well as how you implement them. Many facilities do not use the technologies most suited to the intended purpose or have technologies they underutilize, both leading to serious security gaps. Consider every security threat, including the potential for violence, individually to discover how you can best use them to address the threats.

While violent crime in the US is generally down, there is an upward trend in public and workplace violence. If you’d like to learn more about security technologies for the healthcare facility, call ProNet Security Solutions today. 1.888.577.6832

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