Treating patients properly and successfully is not the only concern that hospital managers and staff face nowadays. They also have the responsibility to ensure the safety of patients, visitors, and staff themselves. It’s also important to secure hospital assets, including expensive and valuable medical equipment.
Part of this responsibility is being ready for the worst. It is unfortunate that hospital management and medical professionals need to worry about security threats, but the reality remains that crime and accidents can happen anytime, anywhere.
Because of these threats, a hospital needs to be equipped with adequate and appropriate security systems. Security and safety protocols geared toward readiness, responsiveness, and accountability should also be in place.
The first step in planning and designing hospital security systems and protocols is to understand what kind of threats the facility must prepare for. Here are the top four hospital security threats.
1. Physical Abuse Toward Medical Staff
Physical abuse and assault toward medical staff are among the most common types of abuse-related threats that occur in medical facilities. Around 80 percent of incidents of violence in medical settings are related to interactions between patients and staff. Most of these incidents involve patients kicking, hitting, shoving, and beating medical staff.
Such cases of violence can happen due to a variety of reasons. Some may be a result of disputes and misunderstandings between the patient or visitor and the hospital staff. Some are caused by patients suffering from mental and emotional instabilities.
These threats are more common in psychiatric wards and facilities, and staff who are most vulnerable include nursing aides and assistants.
2. Active Assailant Attacks
Public shootings have become unfortunately common in the past few years. Hospitals are as vulnerable as other public places when it comes to these incidents. In fact, from 2000 to 2015, there had been 241 hospital shootings in the U.S. These incidents happened in the in-patient rooms, parking lot, and emergency room.
3. Infant Kidnappings
Infant kidnapping is the most common type of abduction that happens in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. According to the records of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there had been 317 reported cases of infant abductions between the period of 1965 and 2017. Most of these incidents happened in the mother’s hospital room, with some abductors even inflicting injury to the mother.
Most of these abductions were done by perpetrators who disguised as medical staff, typically posing to take the child for a checkup, never to be seen again.
Hospitals deal with incidents of theft quite often, and the crime can be done by both outsiders and staff themselves. From drugs, medical supplies, and food, there are a lot of things that can be stolen from a healthcare facility.
Creating a safe environment for hospital staff, patients, and visitors is truly a huge task. Identifying the threat is just the first step. It’s necessary for hospital managers to enlist the help of a qualified security systems and solutions provider. Supercircuits, Inc. has been providing business security solutions for over 25 years. If you need help planning and designing your healthcare facility’s security system, we’re here to assist. Contact us today!