Critical Features Of Effective Hospital Security

April 3rd, 2019

Though we often think of hospitals as places of safety and healing, sadly hospitals in Houston, TX are often the target of violence. Hospital leadership can work to reduce both the potential for violent incidents and the number of incidents that happen on their campus. With comprehensive security planning and good training of both security personnel and staff, hospital leadership can help foster a safe workplace.

Hospital Security Starts With Strong Leadership

In order to keep a hospital safe, there has to be a directed effort by leaders. Leaders need to prioritize security and consistently set and review security goals. Leadership isn’t just important at the top, but also within the security department itself. You need to ensure that your security management team is well-trained, certified, and continues their education to stay current on how to address the newest threats popping up in Houston.

Focus On The Biggest Security Threat

Most security plans are focused on the deterrence of theft and property damage. In many industries, this is where the biggest threat lies. However, at hospitals, the biggest threat is workplace violence. Therefore, hospital security systems needed to be designed to identify warning signs and report threatening behavior. Then the system needs a process for mitigating the potential for violence, as well as, quickly responding if violence occurs.

Keeping Patients Safe

Addressing the threat of workplace violence also includes keeping patients safe from harm. Here are some of the ways that a hospital can prioritize patient safety as part of their security program:

  • Identify ways to reduce the potential for patient elopement
  • Secure sensitive areas from unauthorized entry and use
  • Establish and clearly communicate reasonable visitation policies to match staff schedule
  • Communicate to patients how to report suspicious or unusual incidents
  • Develop and communicate a process for investigating escalating incidents
  • Train staff in proper protocols and regulatory compliance for the use of force and patient restraint
  • Provide extra training for staff in very vulnerable areas like emergency departments, behavioral health areas, and emergency departments

Make sure to also have a clearly written and outlined policy that both patients and staff can access concerning incidents of violence.

Design A Safe Hospital Environment

Another important piece of hospital leadership needs to consider is the physical features within the hospital’s architecture that can provide safety. Facilities need to look beyond the standard video surveillance systems, motion detection, and access entry security. Leaders also need to think about how to renovate spaces to provide more security. Adding extra doors to the hallways, creating physical barriers on the perimeter, and providing surrounds and shelter in outdoor walk spaces, can all add layers of passive security.

Though there is no one-size-fits-all system for hospital security in Houston, there are multiple common components. Utilizing these protocols, design, and training can help not only reduce incidents of violence, but can empower your staff to recognize and mitigate threatening situations before they escalate. To ensure that you are protecting everyone at your hospital, you need to work with a qualified security company that specializes in hospital security. They understand the threats and can help you develop a plan to keep everyone safe from violence.

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