While many healthcare facilities have their own security, most of them rely heavily on local law enforcement to diffuse violent incidents. Building enduring relationships between healthcare security and law enforcement is critical for the safety of patients, visitors, and personnel. Convergint and Axis Communications work together to enhance security at healthcare facilities and to also urge administrators to work closely with their local police agencies.
Why Healthcare Facilities Need to Increase Security
According to data gathered in 2016 from an Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, 60 percent of all violent workplace incidents occur in healthcare facilities. However, the healthcare industry makes up only 13 percent of the American workforce. These results illustrate the urgency of developing partnerships with law enforcement.
While most medical facilities have their own security, they are not as trained or equipped as law enforcement agencies are. By collaborating with police, they can minimize the impact of violent events on employees and patients, as well as decrease law enforcement’s response time to incidents. Fostering these relationships takes time but provides many benefits.
Features of Effective Partnerships Between Healthcare and Law Enforcement
There are several factors to consider when assessing the security of medical facilities. First, the employees and administration must work cohesively with technology and the current security processes in place to provide a safe environment.
Another factor is the preparedness of employees and patients to respond rapidly and effectively to security incidents. Preparation often involves evacuation drills, traffic and crowd control, alert procedures, and much more.
The facility should have an adequate amount of security employees to create a secure environment, and access to police personnel with better training is critical. Local law enforcement agencies likely don’t have the resources to place officers or deputies in the facility 24/7. It’s up to security to control the medical facility environment. Security technology provides excellent tools that integrate to enhance the security of each facility.
Features of effective law enforcement and healthcare partnerships include:
Including law enforcement in the planning of security procedures and processes, such as security briefings and responding to critical incidents
Having a policy in place for law enforcement that notifies the medical facility of certain situations, such as bringing someone incarcerated for medical treatment, as well as when someone who is not free to leave needs medical treatment (and other similar incidents)
Procedures in place that designate when a law enforcement officer needs to be present with someone who is not free to leave (with some exceptions such as patients who are in surgery or incapacitated)
Processes for releasing information to law enforcement while still complying with HIPAA
The development and implementation of a security program that is more comprehensive than a simple security plan
Collaborating with law enforcement creates a symbiotic relationship to ensure that hospital staff and patients are always safe. Technology and security integration provided by Convergint and Axis Communications combine to give a healthcare facility a successful security solution that meets the needs of a dynamic environment.