Security for the Health-Care World
In a perfect world, patients and health-care professionals could devote all of their time to the healing process. A variety of factors hinder that process in today’s health-care facilities, most notably the opioid epidemic.
A recent Boston 25 News piece notes how Massachusetts Emergency Room nurses are particularly at risk. They face both physical and verbal abuse from opiate-intoxicated patients. A 2018 survey by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) notes that 69 percent of local nurses were assaulted by their patients during the prior two years.
This is just one area of vulnerability.
Stressed-out Health-Care Facilities
To get an idea of all the potential risk areas a healthcare facility’s operations might involve, we offer the following brief list of areas requiring monitoring or management:
Pharmaceuticals: There could be thousands of dollars of narcotics and other costly pharmaceuticals on premises. These obviously will appeal to thieves looking to resell them, or substance abusers who want them for their own use.
Stressful situations: By its essential nature, a hospital or other medical facility is a high stress environment. People are entering ill or severely injured — some are facing critical life-or-death situations. The presence of intoxicated patients can lead to a higher risk of physical or verbal assault.
Temperature control: A health-care building requires constant temperature monitoring and regulation. Sensitive diagnostic equipment, cultures, medications and fluids — all require specific temperature ranges, and damage to them can cost thousands of dollars.
Fire detection: Like any public facility, hospitals must have fire and smoke detection and alarm systems that are up to code, especially considering all of the vulnerable patients kept overnight.
Access control: To protect patients, drugs, and expensive diagnostic and treatment solutions, the facility must be capable of being locked down and monitored, 24/7.
Backup communications: Natural disasters or other events might disable phones and other primary communications systems in health-care environments. Hospital systems must be able to send emergency communications to first responders under any circumstances.
Fortunately, holistic access control management and 24/7 monitoring systems are available that enable health-care managers to handle all these areas of potential vulnerability.
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