Expansive, open, and teeming with foot traffic at all hours of the day and night, hospital environments present unique security challenges. These facilities must be accessible to patients, visitors, and staff at many different levels, but this very accessibility also leaves them vulnerable to security threats. The right security system for healthcare environments can integrate a variety of facets to mitigate the risks hospitals face.
Hospital Security Systems Can Prevent Incidents Before They Happen
While healthcare workers are focused on caring for patients, a violent attack or other security threat can come seemingly out of nowhere. Workplace assaults happen at hospitals across the country, many involving firearms brought in by patients and visitors.
To prevent incidents like this, multi-faceted security systems for healthcare environments must be in place. Video surveillance systems which extend out to the hospital’s parking lots, garages, and other exterior spaces can provide warnings of potential threats, taking the burden off of staff to be constantly on the lookout. System monitoring allows your security team to react quickly and intervene before an attack occurs. Finally, the integration of a facility-wide alarm system can keep staff and patients safer during an incident, providing clear communication about what is occurring and how to react, or even setting locking down certain zones of the facility.
Access Control Systems Can Prevent Theft
Consider how many doors your hospital has, both interior and exterior. When it comes to managing who has access to which areas, it’s clear that a traditional key system is simply not good enough. Likewise, it’s not feasible for security guards to check staff badges, and busy receptionists cannot be tasked with remembering visitors’ faces.
Yet your facility contains valuable supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals, as well as computers and mobile devices that are used to access patient records. All of this must be protected, while remaining quickly and easily accessible to staff—crash teams, for instance, need direct access to life-saving drugs that may otherwise be kept under lock and key. An access control system is a sophisticated solution to this complex problem. With badges, facial recognition, or biometrics, your staff can be granted access as needed, by individual or by group.
Hospital Security Camera Systems Can Prevent Data Loss and HIPAA Violations
To avoid steep penalties for data breaches, hospitals must take every effort to prevent patients’ protected health information (PHI) from falling into unauthorized hands. While video surveillance cameras may at first sound like an even bigger headache for patient privacy, these systems can be an important component of your data loss prevention program. First, video cameras can be integrated with an access control system to ensure that only authorized staff members view patient records, at the appropriate times. Video recordings can also be part of the logs kept by your access control system, so that you can clearly see who used hospital computers, when, and why.
Hospital security camera systems are critical in public spaces such as reception areas and waiting rooms, although they may be considered PHI if they capture patient records on staff desks or computer screens. If it's not possible to orient cameras away from where records are viewed, select parts of the footage can be masked out or blurred, either permanently or when playback is viewed from monitoring stations within the facility.
There’s yet another challenge faced almost universally by hospitals and healthcare providers: budget cuts. As medical technology constantly grows by leaps and bounds, your potential for providing positive patient outcomes expands—but so does the need to continually invest in new equipment. And while protecting your facility is crucial, your security budget may be feeling the squeeze.
Call ISG now. We’ll listen to your needs and discuss how we can accomplish your security goals for the best possible price. We won’t recommend proprietary equipment, so your facility won’t be tied to a single source supplier. We can even maintain your legacy technology—maximizing its performance while protecting your staff, patients, and property.