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Healthcare security is evolving with continuous financial pressures associated with costs and reimbursements, mergers and consolidations of healthcare systems. In spite of this, the security challenges have only gotten worse with incidents of workplace violence, theft, drug diversion and other crimes threatening customer perceptions of the “safety” of one institution versus another. Clients and their families interacting in healthcare facilities can be under a tremendous amount of stress. This stress often translates to disruptive or violent behaviors.
For accredited facilities, the Joint Commission (JCAHO) establishes their own set of healthcare security expectations which are often in addition to those requirements born out of the local threat and risk environment. JCAHO inspections continue to get more challenging from a security perspective and the threat of terrorism and mass casualty incidents are putting increasing pressure on facilities to have world class healthcare security plans and programs.
Healthcare Security Diagnostics
Medical doctors conduct a proper diagnosis before beginning treatment of a patient. Similarly, security solutions should only be applied with the appropriate threat based justification provided by a formal risk analysis. Effective healthcare security starts with understanding the threats and risks to a facility’s operations. While there are many common risks across various healthcare facilities, the needs of each healthcare security program must be looked at individually.
Achieving effective healthcare security is challenging and BPS has significant healthcare experience meeting these challenges. Most healthcare facilities must be open and accessible to patients and visitors; which creates potential conflict with security. Healthcare administrators must balance convenience versus security. Enabling community access to facilities has trade offs in the protection of critical assets vital to maintaining the primary mission - the more convenient and accessible the facilities more potential security risk exists.
Healthcare Security Coordination
Healthcare facilities can be 24 hour operations. Healthcare security must address a variety of situations – inside and out. No healthcare security program is complete without an analysis of physical space from a crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) perspective.