The key to creating a comprehensive hospital security program is to avoid the desire to find a “one size fits all” solution. With so many aspects to cover, you’re unlikely to find a “does it all” system that meets your needs.
Your hospital security system should include a focus on these three functions:
- Ensuring only authorized personnel are on site
- Processing guests to prevent those with bad intentions from getting inside
- Securing the sensitive rooms of your facility
These can also be bucketed as focusing on employee ID, visitor management and access control.
Here are three areas of focus to make your hospital a safer, more secure place for patients, staff and guests.
1. Install visitor management software
This push-pull between welcoming guests and maintaining security is the main reason why a hospital visitor management system is so important: it allows a facility to welcome guests while also screening them for potential issues.
Visitor management systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but in the case of large facilities, hospital visitor management software is essential.
The best visitor management software can scan a guest’s driver’s license, check names against watch lists, issue expiring visitor badges and much more based on the unique needs of your facility.
By vetting every guest (and preventing unwanted guests from getting inside), you’re taking a drastic step toward increasing hospital safety for all.
Tip: Consider investing in a visitor management solution that includes HL-7 integration. This will allow your system to integrate with your EHR system (Epic, Cerner, Meditech), making it easier to send guests to the right room.
2. Establish and issue a quality hospital ID badge
Hospital ID badges are a requirement in most parts of North America. Organizations like The Joint Commission and OSHA often require (or “strongly encourage”) facilities to implement employee ID badge programs, and some states have laws requiring ID use.
One way to add a layer of safety to your hospital is by adding security to your ID cards.
Hospital budgets are often tight, so many organizations limit their ID badges to the simplest (i.e. most affordable) solution possible. This makes it easier for the creation of convincing counterfeit badges.
Consider using custom-shaped ID cards, adding ID card security features like UV printing or MicroText, and adding your facility’s emergency codes to the back to make your cards more unique.
The more unique they are, the harder they’ll be to copy, helping you ensure that your employees are the only ones with access to those valuable badges.
Tip: Once you get started with your ID program, make sure you save your final design to use in the future. Using a hospital ID badge template makes it much faster to issue new or replacement cards down the line.
3. Limit access to certain areas with a robust hospital access control system
Hospitals are unique in that they welcome a high volume of people while also having a large number of areas that need to be secured.
This makes it essential to have a hospital security system that differentiates between accessible rooms and rooms that need to be off-limits to all but a select few.
This is where a modern access control system comes into play: it allows a hospital to choose different levels of security for different doors, all while making them easily accessible to select cardholders.
Adding a hospital access control system to your facility also makes it easier to manage all of your doors. You’re able to view and respond to alarms, view integrated surveillance video, lock down your facility and more — all from a central location.
Tip: For sprawling hospital campuses, consider using an access control system that offers a mobile application. This will allow your security personnel to keep an eye on all aspects of your site while doing their rounds.
Securing a hospital doesn’t need to be overwhelming! Our staff have years of experience with all aspects of the ID, Visitor Management and access control solutions discussed above. If you’d like more information, please contact us.