Business Security Best Practices for Medical Centers and Physician Offices
Medical centers and physician offices face a plethora of challenging security issues. Physical safety, patient privacy, and medication and equipment theft top the list of concerns.
Don’t let these security threats deter you from providing the best medical care to patients. Ensure your medical center or physician’s office is as safe as possible by educating yourself on the risks and following the below advice.
In the U.S., violent crime, assault and disorderly conduct rates at hospitals all increased in 2013 when compared to 2012. Burglary incidents stayed stagnant, but still pose a threat. Medical centers face these risks from both patients and external persons.
Prepare Nurses, Doctors and Staff
All employees on the premise should be aware of what to do in case of an emergency. This includes knowing self-defense techniques and understanding the policies and procedures for each potential incident.
In addition to performing their daily tasks, employees have a responsibility to stay vigilant and aware of any suspicious behavior. Educate staff on possible threats.
Mitigate Risk by Leveraging Security Technology
Security technology can be implemented in medical buildings to promote safety and mitigate the risk of crime. The following are examples:
Each employee is given a unique credential that grants him or her access to enter specific areas of the facility. The credential provides the employee with a unique security clearance to predefined areas.
For example, an administrative assistant will not be able to access the medicine storage closet with his or her card. This effectively restricts access to sensitive areas of your facility and helps safeguard patient information.
Furthermore, you can monitor cabinets, lockers and supply closets through an access control system. From this, you can create access reports to these critical products and medications.
In all, access control technology assists in addressing your HIPPA privacy requirements.
Controlling the access of patients, visitors, contractors and vendor representatives is vital to keeping your facility safe. A visitor management solution is all about knowing and managing who is in your building.
Through the use of an automated visitor management solution, you can track visitors, meet visitor policies and ensure that restricted guests are not granted access. Create watch lists, enable web pre-registration for vendor meetings and utilize unmanned kiosks for arriving visitors to streamline the sign-in processes.
Video surveillance technology is helpful in two ways. First, it is an important monitoring tool that allows for real-time updates on facility security. Second, video surveillance aids in bringing perpetrators to justice, if crimes occur.
Take this solution one step further by setting up event-triggered video recording. Once a predefined event is triggered—such as logging into a secure computer or opening the supply closet—the video cameras will start recording.
This can also be integrated with your access control system for real-time intervention to critical events.
Stay in the know: Receive alerts straight to your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. If anything is awry, you and the monitoring center will be alerted immediately.
These technology solutions provide safety for all those within the building, as well as safeguard expensive equipment, medication and patient files from getting into the wrong hands.
What security concerns do you face with your medical facility? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source: Phalinn Ooi via Flickr