Hospitals provide an amazing and necessary service, with the staff therein often working long hours to provide care to people who need it. Because of their hard work and busy schedules, it’s unfair to put the burden of security on hospital workers, but the fact remains that, because hospitals contain, oftentimes, weak or defenseless people, as well as sought after drugs and expensive medical equipment, it can be a target for crime. Hospitals, in order to shore up their defenses against theft and crime, need to implement certain security measures, including the following.
- ID Cards
Having a reliable system in place to monitor and prohibit the access of people in certain areas of the hospital will keep it safe without putting the onus on staff. Drugs, for example, of the kind that are necessary to patients and desirable to outside addicts, need to be kept in safe storage, protected by a restricted entrance, something that an ID printing system and equipment does handily and easily. This also helps hospital staff manage the flow of visitors, to ensure that certain wings don’t get overwhelmed and that visitors are accounted for. This is your first, and likely best, line of defense, and compared to other more drastic measures (like security guards and metal detectors) it is inexpensive.
- Surveillance Cameras
Cameras are a security measure that are, or should be, in most hospitals. They effectively deter people from committing crimes by creating a psychological barrier, and in the event of theft or even malpractice, security cameras can be referred to for evidence in prosecution. They are, admittedly, expensive to install and maintain, as well as easy to tamper with and ephemeral (tapes are deleted when the storage fills up), but they’re necessary tools nonetheless. They also give patients and staff a sense of safety, a fact that should not be overlooked.
- Background Checks
The third security measure that every hospital should implement takes place before a hospital employee starts work. Thorough background checks should be administered and character references should be required (and followed through with) to make adequately sure that all hospital staff is trustworthy and not liable to take advantage of either the hospital or its patients. This might seem draconian, or as though it shifts blame to hospital staff, but it is a realistic and important step, one that the prospective hospital employee will appreciate, as it means that their future place of employment is safe and serious. If your background check policy is thin or outdated, considering revising it.
Hospitals have a duty to protect both their patients, who are very often defenseless, and their staff, who often work long hours. Fortifying the walls around these vulnerabilities starts with taking real-world security measures – implement an ID card system and keep your equipment and software up to date; install and review security cameras; and do comprehensive pre-employment checks on all prospective employees, revising your policies if they seem too lax. A safe hospital is a successful hospital.