Healthcare facilities are responsible to maintain a safe environment at all times; however, they’re vulnerable to crime and security threats from patients, guests, intruders and even their own staff at times. Security threats can come from anywhere, hospitals and healthcare facilities must be dedicated and vigilant. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new and unprecedented security obstacles and occupied the attention of hospital staff and security personnel, there are many safety concerns unrelated to the global pandemic that healthcare facilities still face today.
Recently, there’s been a sharp rise in patients who are mentally ill or even suicidal. When treating patients battling mental disorders, hospital staff must protect others from potentially violent or destructive behavior. In the process of protecting these patients from harming themselves, there is a growing concern for how hospitals can protect their own staff as well as other patients and visitors on the premises. When situations turn violent or uncontrollable by doctors and nurses, it’s crucial to have security personnel onsite to address the situation.
Another increasing threat in healthcare outside of COVID-19 is due to active shooters and attackers. Situations that involve an active shooter or violent attack tend to evolve rapidly and can be very unpredictable. It’s important for healthcare facilities to have centralized, streamlined security systems in place in order to optimize response times and minimize the potential harm. In these unsettling situations, all staff become part of the “security team” in order to protect those within the building, but trained experts are needed and can help defuse violent situations and call in the appropriate first responders immediately.
Infant abductions are another critical security threat to hospital settings. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 317 cases of infant abductions occurred between 1965 and 2017. Of these numbers, 140 of these infants were taken from healthcare facilities—a place where new mothers should feel their babies are the safest. Typically known as “Code Pink,” the kidnapping of a baby is the most common type of abduction in hospitals today. Many new forms of protocol, such as requiring babies to only be transported in bassinets instead of in the arms of nurses, have been implemented within hospitals nationwide to ensure the protection of infants around the clock. Security personnel and strict vigilance are necessary tools to combat this threat.
Unfortunately, just like most other industries, hospitals face supply and property theft. Hospital theft can create a variety of unnecessary overhead costs for the facility. Not only are hospitals at risk of losing valuable equipment and medical products, but patients are also at risk of losing personal items. A 2019 investigation performed by WFAA, a Dallas news network, revealed that there were over 300 reports of theft at Dallas and Fort Worth hospitals from 2014-2019. In 2015 alone, hospitals nationwide reported nearly 3,000 cases of theft. Patients are counting on healthcare facilities to provide them with a stress-free, safe environment in which they can receive care and leave a healthier version of themselves, with all of their belongings intact. Additional security measures are crucial for healthcare professionals to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
Eagle Security Systems is dedicated to providing highly-trained security officers to protect not only healthcare staff, but patients and visitors to ensure every healthcare facility is capable of providing the care and attention necessary to their practice. Call us today at 877-766-4610 to learn more about what Eagle Systems can do for your healthcare facility or business.