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Here’s all you need to know about hospital security

Why should a hospital be concerned with setting up its security measures?

Hospital security systems need to address a long list of high-priority security measures, among which patient and children safety, emergency room security, parking visitor flow management, pharmacy control and equipment protection are typical top row concerns. The complex environments with busy schedules and unplanned emergencies contribute to the hospital and healthcare security concerns. 

It’s not only a matter of adhering to clinical safety regulations, but also involves handling the staff, visitors, patients, contract workers, caterers, and anyone else who has to access the hospital on a one-off basis.

lab
‍Handling sensitive lab specimens is a typical hospital security concern

Hospital security systems usually incorporate a set of measures addressing specific regulations adopted by regulatory bodies, such as, for example, the U.S. HIPAA rules. The influx of sensitive data from patient’s care records and medical histories must be kept safe and protected, and managed only by authorized staff. Hospital security concerns don’t only include medical staff. Hospital security officers need to show special patrolling skills and a knack for observing the environment, as well as possess adequate reporting and customer service skills.

The transient flow of people is only one part of the risks. Hospital wards, cabinets, surgery rooms and labs are full of high-value equipment. The lab software and the modern surgery machinery must be kept under lock. Risks from loss of confidential patient data or personal possessions are always present. Another important area that must be addressed by hospital security systems is disease control and prevention, in the way or legal compliance, and physical and administrative security of research labs and quarantine sections.

What is the ideal security arrangement for a hospital?

As a consequence of the dynamic and ‘need-to-access’ based environment, hospital and healthcare facility security is best addressed with electronic access control systems. Enhancing safety in hospitals and nursing homes to enable access only to authorized people, keeping sensitive records safe, as well as strictly controlled use of equipment can be performed from a web-based software or from mobile apps.

blood samples
‍Keeping proper track of blood samples is extremely important in hospital environments

Electronic access systems are convenient for overseeing hospital and healthcare security on a late number of distributed locations. Managing the role-based security and overseeing several hospitals across the state can be done from a smartphone. This makes the job of managers simple, and frees staff time from unnecessary reporting that can be dedicated to critical hospital care.

Hospital security systems based on electronic access control help physical security needs. They enable printing photographic ID access cards for permanent authorized staff and temporary card passes for visitors and contractors. Access cards for hospitals are programmable to grant entry only through specific magnetic lock doors and turnstiles; this includes vehicle access at parking lots. Door controllers linked to these cards can be adjusted to allow only visitors with cards, as well as to require biometric authentication, such as fingerprint identification.

Scalability of the electronic access systems enables unique solutions for hospital and healthcare facilities. Depending on the size of the facility, it can include standalone readers for multiple locations or one central control point for multiple devices connected in a network. Hospitals are usually in need of modern software solutions; the ideal solution executed with electronic access control can be integrated into the rest of the hospital operations to round up the operations circle.

What are some of the unique points a hospital should take note when setting up its security process?

Each hospital and healthcare security model needs to be adapted to the unique needs of the facility. The best way to do that is to run a thorough risk assessment and determine the level of security you require. The assessment outcome will influence the decision on how to choose the ideal hospital security design. 

During this process, healthcare professionals should keep in mind the industry standards mandated by accredited standardization authorities, as well as country- specific and international codes of practice. In contrast to the typical security concerns of business professionals, hospital security systems must be able to guard against specific issues, such as protection of sensitive areas, record keeping and tracking, theft prevention, misuse of expensive medical equipment, and staff and patient protection.

Hospitals are high-risk environments, even if they don’t seem like that, even more because people entrust hospitals with their lives and expect top safety and security response. Loss or misuse of vital patient records is not only an administrative concern, but also a factor that impacts the hospital security integrity. As much as they want to be physically safe, patients like to have their sensitive data stored securely. This is why hospital’s primary concern should be to correctly track and monitor the patient behavior and data submissions from the moment of front-desk check-in to the final dismissal.  

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