When it comes to healthcare security, HIPAA and data breaches grab the headlines. However, executives in charge of a healthcare organization’s security understand the necessity of prioritizing digital and physical security equally in their security strategies. Recent reports such as the Protenus Breach Barometer found that as much as 16% of compromised records were as the result of stolen devices. And, one lost device can equal a vast breach, as it did last year when one laptop went missing and compromised the information of over 600 patients in a NY hospital.
Safeguarding privacy is an important concern for healthcare facilities, but is in no way the only security concern. While crime is generally down in the US, crime in public places is rising and it is incumbent upon healthcare facilities to anticipate the many facets of crime and mitigate their possibility with the right solutions.
The Unique Challenges in Healthcare Physical Security
Hospitals and other care facilities must be prepared for any emergency, whether it is a man-made emergency like a security breach or natural disasters such as fire or water-related events. Healthcare security personnel must be able to identify threats at the earliest possible stages to provide the highest levels of security possible, while still providing an inviting and comforting environment.
Top Physical Security Concerns
Physical Violence on Staff
Healthcare facilities are often emotionally charged environments which can produce violent outbursts. Studies show that one of the biggest concerns in healthcare security is physical violence perpetrated against staff. In fact, a study completed by the Emergency Nurses Association revealed that 55.6% of nurses reported having been a victim of violence in the workplace and would rate their emergency department security as 5 out of 10.
Theft is another primary concern for healthcare facilities. Patient information is one target, as is prescription medication. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated that 15% of healthcare professionals may become addicted to prescription medication at some point in their career.
While the incidence of child abductions may be low, the threat is high. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), 45% of infant abductions occur from healthcare facilities.
Patients and patient families are often in a crisis situation which causes them to act in a way they may not act otherwise. Disorderly conduct is a common problem for organizations that provide care. Unfortunately, it can cause even greater disruptions with others, slow the delivery of care, and endanger staff and visitors.
Prime Physical Security Solutions for Healthcare
- Access Control– Visitor management and other access control solutions prevent access to secured areas and protect areas such as data centers and pharmaceutical storage.
- Intrusion systems– Whether it is protecting critical patient areas or for protecting physical assets, preventing and detecting an intrusion is a paramount concern in healthcare.
- Video Surveillance- a comprehensive video surveillance system helps to protect the perimeter and allows security personnel to oversee the entire facility at once, even remotely.
- Commercial Fire- Fire regulations demand that hospitals have adequate fire alarm and detection technologies in place to protect vulnerable populations.
- Public Address Systems- Communication is critical in every type of organization that provides care. Public address systems should be reliable and flexible in meeting facility needs.
ATS specializes in serving the healthcare industry. We understand the unique needs, security demands, and important sensitivities inherent to the industry and meet them with sophisticated and reliable solutions. Call us today for more information! 414-476-4200