Hospitals and other healthcare facilities house many individuals who are sick, injured, or otherwise unable to care for themselves. Not only do these locations care for vulnerable individuals; they also house large quantities of important personal data. Because of this, the potential for environmental and man-made threats makes the use of healthcare security services an absolute must for health providers.
Because hospitals need to mitigate external threats while also dealing with potential risks within their own walls, you can’t entrust your healthcare security to just anyone.
Here are a few key attributes you should look for in a healthcare security services team.
Specialized Risk Mitigation
Hospitals face many of the same security challenges as other facilities, such as the risk of burglary or natural disasters. However, the unique nature of a hospital environment also introduces several other risk factors that require specialized support and understanding.
This is especially true when caring for patients with severe behavioural issues. Nurses and doctors are often threatened or even physically attacked by some of the people they are trying to care for. In other situations, a patient may attempt to sneak out of the care facility before they have been officially discharged. And yet others may be vulnerable to acts of violence from individuals who wish to take advantage of an illness or injury.
Because healthcare facilities have a higher risk for human-related security incidents, a healthcare security services team should be able to provide specialized risk assessment and mitigation services. They should have a firm understanding of practices and policies that can reduce these risks in a healthcare facility to create a safer environment for both patients and their caregivers.
While de-escalation policies are common for event security and other similar services, they are an absolute must for healthcare security services. A physically vulnerable population is a natural consequence of working in a healthcare facility. As such, immediately resorting to rough physical intervention to deal with an unruly patient or another threat could result in severe harm to the apprehended individual — something no hospital or clinic wants to have happen.
Security providers should illustrate that they have de-escalation policies in place and provide training to their guards to ensure that these procedures are followed. Guards should have the ability to use both verbal and nonverbal communication skills as their first method of intervening in a crisis, avoiding violence whenever possible.
Incident Recording & Reporting
Security incidents that occur within a hospital are frequently subject to dispute, especially when a guard is required to use force. Hospitals need to be protected from this liability, and as such, your healthcare security services team should provide comprehensive incident recording and reporting services.
Officer cameras are one of the most useful tools for a healthcare security team. The ability to record and upload video of an incident as part of the reporting process can provide a clear picture as to what actually happened. Video evidence can be used to determine whether an officer’s actions were justified and to resolve conflicting testimonies.
Your healthcare security services team should have a quality reporting mechanism in place so that hospital management can become aware of an issue almost immediately. A team that uses modern guard dispatch software can provide instant alerts and updates when an incident takes place. This in turn allows management to respond quickly, providing additional instructions as needed to safely resolve the problem.
Healthcare facilities truly have unique needs — so shouldn’t their security providers be able to account for these concerns?
By working with a security provider who understands the risks faced by hospitals and health clinics and goes the extra mile to resolve conflicts in a safe, non-confrontational manner, hospital supervisors can have peace of mind regarding the safety of both their staff and their patients.