Healthcare Series: Security Challenges for Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
Substance abuse treatment centers come in all kinds of different formats, from day programs to residential rehabilitation centers, and beyond. Regardless of the format, one thing they all have in common is a commitment to helping their patients.
A thoughtfully designed commercial security system will help keep patients and staff safe while streamlining workflows and ensuring the organization complies with industry and DEA standards.
Though the security strategy for each substance abuse treatment center will vary depending on the size and nature of the organization, there are many commonalities between these facilities.
Here are some of the top security concerns and considerations for substance abuse treatment centers.
Access control for patients, staff, and visitors
Whether your substance abuse treatment center is an in-patient or outpatient treatment facility, a robust access control system is essential for ensuring patients, staff, and visitors have access only to authorized areas.
An integrated access control system will enable you to assign unique access codes to patients, staff, and visitors, depending on their clearance levels. Since some areas of your facility, such as treatment rooms or residential zones, may be off-limits to visitors, you can designate clearance areas to ensure only authorized individuals have access.
In the same way, you can use access controls to prevent patients from accessing staff-only areas of the facility.
Managing access control records
Assigning unique access codes to your staff members makes it easy to track who is present in each area of the facility at any given time. In the event of an incident or emergency, this makes it easy to determine who was on-site at the time so you can follow up with them accordingly.
Access control systems create a level of accountability for the staff of your addiction treatment center. Since administrators can track the movement of unique IDs throughout the different controlled areas of the facility, staff members are incentivized to show up for work on time and to uphold their assigned duties.
Securing patient records
Patient records typically contain confidential health information and should only be accessible to individuals who need them for treatment purposes. There is also an anonymity element to addiction treatment, making it paramount to securely store patient records.
With an access control system in place, restricting access to the patient records room is as simple as designating it as a separate clearance zone and assigning permissions only to staff members who require access.
Ensuring the “drug room” is secured according to DEA standards
Substance treatment centers that have medication rooms (also referred to as “drug rooms”) on-site must secure this space in accordance with DEA standards. There is a unique security profile for the medication room and the container within the room that holds the medications.
An access control system enables you to control who has access to this room and keep a record of who has entered the room and when.
Since facilities with medication rooms must be licensed by the DEA, selecting a security partner that is familiar with their standards is the best way to ensure your organization is prepared to pass any DEA audits.
The Bottom Line
Providing a safe and secure environment for patients and staff is the top priority for addiction treatment facilities. American Alarm can work with you to design a professional security system that meets your organization’s unique needs. We also offer regular service and inspections to ensure your system is working optimally and that all your questions are answered.
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