Hospitals are busy places. Between staff and patients, there is a lot of movement in and out. On top of that, hospitals have to be prepared for the unexpected. This makes good security for all parts of the facility essential. Here are a few more reasons why hospitals need comprehensive security solutions:
1. There Are a Lot of People
In the case of a general public hospital or healthcare facility, there are a ton of different people that are moving in, out, and around the facility. Staff, patients, visitors, students, other service providers, vendors, and more all need to access the facility. This is a security concern for healthcare campuses and is also one of the campus security concerns for colleges & universities.
The sheer amount of people and foot traffic alone creates tons of risk and liability. At the very least, a hospital needs some way to direct and manage all of that traffic. Monitored entries and exits and an access control system to protect authorized areas are the minimum for a hospital. Secure hospitals require much more and stricter standards in terms of access control.
2. Patients Are Vulnerable
When someone is admitted to the hospital and becomes a patient, they are usually unwell and in a vulnerable state. Without comprehensive security measures in place, this also makes them vulnerable to people with malicious intentions and to situations that can pose a danger to them.
Without good security, patients are vulnerable to theft of personal belongings, stress from unwanted visitors, personal injury, and more. Security products and systems that provide and improve patient protection and safety are an essential part of any comprehensive security solution in healthcare settings. Video surveillance, visitor management solutions, other security systems, and nurse call systems improve patient safety.
3. Staff Are Put In Dangerous Situations
Hospitals are high-stress environments and hospital staff are often put in dangerous situations. Between patients acting out, visitors getting angry, and more, there is a lot of potential for workplace violence that needs to be mitigated in healthcare settings.
Clear policies, incident management software, alert and emergency call systems, access control, security cameras, and more all make up security measures that can help reduce and prevent workplace violence in healthcare.
4. Hospitals Contain High-Value Assets
Another one of the reasons why hospitals need comprehensive security solutions is that they contain high-value assets, and are well-known to have them. One of the benefits of effective asset management in healthcare is keeping track of all of these assets. Paired with comprehensive security, you can keep track of them as well as secure and protect them.
Medical equipment, medicine, medical records, personal data, payment data, etc. are all high-value assets that are vulnerable to theft and other threats without the right security measures to prevent them. With an average of 10-15 networked medical devices per hospital bed in the US, hospitals cannot afford security vulnerabilities online or off.
Door locks and access control can help manage visitors, secure servers rooms and equipment, and protect authorized areas. In addition to physical security, including perimeter security, hospitals also need to secure their data and protect against cybersecurity threats and ransomware attacks.
Part of this includes secure backups and security at all times in addition to ways to sustain critical life safety & security systems during power outages where the facility, patients, staff, etc. are vulnerable.
5. Hospital Campuses Often Have Multiple Buildings
Comprehensive security solutions also mean integrated security systems. One of the biggest benefits of integrated security systems is the seamless integration that allows multiple systems to work together and communicate for the best security possible.
This is particularly important for large hospital campuses that have large parking lots, multiple buildings, higher foot traffic, and more entries, exits, and secure areas to cover. The right types of video surveillance cameras in the right places, enterprise access control, perimeter security, incident management, environmental monitoring, and more can comprehensively cover and secure multiple buildings within the same campus.
6. Delicate Environments Need to be Monitored
Water quality and temperature are important in any facility. Due to the delicate environments and vulnerable patients in hospitals, environmental monitoring of water, temperature, and other things is even more important.
There are several environmental monitoring applications across industries that are essential to healthcare facilities. In addition to quality and temperature, environmental monitoring systems can also monitor and alert in case of leaks, frozen pipes, incorrect or faulty temperature settings, and more.
There are also many essential applications of environmental monitoring in healthcare specifically, like managing inventory, blood and organ transport and storage, and more. On top of that, fire detection systems can also usually be integrated with environmental monitoring systems, emergency call systems, mass notification systems, and more.
7. Emergency Preparedness is Paramount
Comprehensive security isn’t just securing a facility; it’s also about preparing for emergencies. Emergency plans, call systems, messaging procedures, evacuation plans, and more are all part of a building vulnerability assessment and should be part of any comprehensive security solution.
Maintaining services and systems during power outages is only one type of emergency response that hospitals need to prepare for. In case of fire or other emergencies, hospitals need to have an evacuation plan for staff and patients.
One of the benefits of mass notification systems is getting important messages out quickly and efficiently, which can make them an invaluable part of an emergency response plan. Emergency call systems, mass notification systems, voice evacuation, communications and intercom systems, and more can all assist with comprehensive facility security and emergency response.
Does Your Hospital Have Comprehensive Security?
With only 32% of healthcare organizations having a comprehensive security program, this is a clear need and another one of the many reasons why hospitals need comprehensive security solutions.
Every facility is different, so the right mix of security products and healthcare security solutions will vary. If your healthcare facility’s security needs an update or an upgrade, contact NEPPS at 800-736-1456.