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How Do I Choose the Best Hospital Security System?

Article Details
  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing the best hospital security system can be a challenge because it involves securing a large area effectively while ensuring that the environment is open and friendly to hospital staff, patients, and visitors. One of the critical elements to look for when choosing a hospital security system is to choose a scalable system that can be expanded in degrees and that integrates a wide variety of the latest technologies. Access cards with readers, video surveillance, lockdown features, and intruder alarm systems that can be managed from a central location are some of the features to look for too.

It is important to secure hospital premises and ensure everyone's safety because hospitals can be targeted in numerous ways. Physicians have been shot, and there are numerous reports of abuse and violence in hospital settings. People sometimes impersonate hospital staff or commit identity theft. It's easy for gang violence to move into the hospital or even for family members to act out against hospital staff when they panic. Patients may have behavioral issues, or both staff and patients' personal property may be stolen.

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A comprehensive hospital security system is necessary to neutralize threats and keep everyone safe. The first step is to do a security risk assessment and identify the areas to be secured. There are numerous other security systems to deploy to ensure safety within the premises once the perimeter of the building has been secured. A scalable system that allows securing critical areas first and gradually expanding security to other departments is a good choice.

A good hospital security system includes some form of access control so that the key entrances and exits are covered. Card readers with swipe cards are very useful in this case because they allow authorities to control both general and specific access to sensitive areas. Instead of using physical keys that can't be monitored, swipe cards allow hospital security to restrict access and manage and monitor regular access. The challenge is to permit public access while allowing authorized personnel to access restricted areas without interrupting everyday work flow.

Integrating video surveillance with access control is another feature to look out for. When an alarm goes off, the security staff can immediately pull up the relevant video at the hospital's command center of the person making the unauthorized entry. Instead of wasting time by sending out guards on patrol, video surveillance allows officers to respond to specific situations with the appropriate resources. Guards can also use video surveillance to virtually tour hallways on a regular basis.

Another feature that a good hospital security system should possess is a lockdown feature. This allows the hospital's command center to lock down the entire hospital with the push of a button in the case of an emergency. Earlier security staff had to manually lock each door and secure all the entry and exit points into the hospital.

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