Healthcare facilities provide some of the most essential roles in society. These facilities and the people who work in them are trusted with private, personal information and the physical well-being of the patients, staff and visitors who walk through their doors. Today we’ll dive into the importance of security in the healthcare system and what measures facilities can take to protect the privacy and physical well-being of those that enter their buildings.
From medical records and diagnoses to insurance details and financial information, healthcare facilities handle vast amounts of sensitive patient information. In the last three years, nearly 93% of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach, according to Herjavec Group’s 2020 Healthcare Cybersecurity Report.
Safeguarding this confidential data is the legal and ethical responsibility of the facilities. It’s also a matter of trust between healthcare providers and patients. Unauthorized access to this information can lead to identity theft, financial fraud and other devastating consequences for patients and staff alike.
Healthcare facilities must implement solid security measures to protect this data. Access controls are essential to restrict unauthorized individuals from accessing patient information. Strong password policies, two-factor authentication and role-based access to patient information are vital to the security of patient and hospital data.
Preventing Unauthorized Access
Healthcare facilities often operate around the clock, which makes them particularly vulnerable to security breaches. To protect the safety of patients and staff and prevent access to medications, equipment and confidential records, restricting access to sensitive areas in a facility is crucial.
Robust physical access controls, including ID badges, keycards or even biometric authorization are a great way for facilities to begin implementing physical access controls. Surveillance systems can deter crime and allow more monitoring by a facility’s security team. Alarm systems and intrusion detection allow for prompt responses by security guards in the event of a security breach.
Ensuring Staff Safety
Working in a healthcare facility is a tireless, thankless job, and often high-stress. Healthcare professionals work long hours and often may encounter challenging, aggressive and even violent individuals in their day-to-day life.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare and social service workers are 5 times as likely to suffer workplace violence. Healthcare facilities need to provide peace of mind to their staff, so they can continue to provide a vital service to our communities.
When evaluating the security of a healthcare facility, emergency response systems are something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Panic buttons or wearable devices can quickly alert a security team, should an emergency develop. Training staff in de-escalation provides them with the knowledge to defuse situations before they escalate and resolve conflict without relying on security personnel. Finally, collaborating with law enforcement or hiring external security guards can provide peace of mind that there are trained professionals at the ready should a situation escalate.
Stopping External Threats
Healthcare facilities are not immune to external threats such as terrorism, theft or vandalism. A robust physical security plan helps deter potential threats and ensure a safer environment for patients, staff and visitors.
Establishing physical barriers, such as fencing or access gates, helps secure the perimeter of healthcare facilities. Having trained security guards on-site can significantly enhance the overall security of healthcare facilities. The security guards can monitor entrances, do security patrols in critical areas and respond to incidents promptly.
The significance of security in healthcare facilities cannot and should not be overlooked. Healthcare professionals play some of the most essential roles in our society and security measures allow them to safely do their jobs. By prioritizing privacy, preventing unauthorized access and ensuring staff safety, facilities provide a safe environment for everyone and foster relationships between patients and staff built on care, trust and confidence.
We Are More Than a Security Provider
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