An important aspect of a hospital’s security is making sure unwanted visitors are kept out of the facility. Integrating watch lists into the a hospital’s security system is an effective way to quickly identify these potential intruders to flag them for your security team prior to entry.
What is a watch list?
Watch lists are databases of names, titles and other information that are screened by a software system when a person tries to gain access to a site. When the system receives the person’s name, it checks that name against this database; if there is a match, an alert is triggered.
Watch lists are normally set up with “if this, then that” functionality. For example, if a person who is on the list attempts to sign in, then security is alerted immediately and officers head for the front desk in case there’s an incident.
How are watch lists used?
When admitting patients, many hospitals ask patients for a list of potential visitors they could expect. They also ask if there’s anyone who shouldn’t be allowed in because they could be a threat to the patient’s safety. Some examples include an estranged spouse or unwanted family member.
The identified unwanted visitor is then added to the watch list. If this person does come to the hospital and tries to obtain a visitor badge, their name is flagged and security is immediately alerted in case of escalation.
By asking patients for potentially harmful visitors, hospitals can take a proactive approach to patient safety and security.
Why are watch lists beneficial for hospitals?
A hospital’s visitor management system is going to serve as your first line of defense: a potential troublemaker may be deterred by the sight of an “ALL GUESTS MUST SIGN IN” placard, or may balk at having to hand over a driver’s license to gain access to your facility.
However, for every person who is deterred, another will be bold enough to continue to attempt to access your site. That’s where watch lists come in.
A watch list provides a digital line of defense against unwanted intruders.
It serves as a way to ensure that someone you (or your patients) have deemed a threat to your site is denied entry, regardless of who is at the security desk or what time he or she tries to sign in.
What are some examples of watch lists used by hospitals?
Sex offender watch lists: Hospitals often use these state-provided databases to ensure that registered sex offenders aren’t allowed to access areas frequented by children. A system like PassagePoint is able to have a watch list imported, and will screen every guest against that list.
Former employee watch lists: A former employee can attempt to access your site for a good reason, like visiting old colleagues. However, too often former employees return to their old job sites with bad intentions, like confronting or harming a former supervisor. By adding your former employees to a watch list, your security team will know who he or she is dealing with right away. You can even put a policy in place that when a person like this attempts to sign in, a security supervisor is notified.
Estranged family member watch lists: Adding ex-spouses or estranged family members to a watch list helps provide peace of mind for patients. It also can help your facility prevent an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situation from occurring.
If you have questions about visitor management or would like to add watch lists and other security features to your site, contact us for more information.