You’ve likely noticed a security presence when visiting a hospital or other medical facility. With heavy foot traffic and an open-door policy for visitors, healthcare facilities can be a target for criminal activity, and a security presence plays a major role in deterring crime.
But having security officers in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities and retirement homes provides many benefits in addition to asset protection. Officers may be involved in a wide variety of areas key to a facility’s day-to-day operations, including:
- Access control
Security officers can check guests in and out, ensuring that they know who is in the facility and for how long. They can also secure and monitor entries and access points to restricted areas, and monitor video surveillance and alarm systems.
- Customer service
Security officers are often the first employee a visitor to the facility sees, and thus are in a perfect position to deliver customer service. Whether a visitor needs to find a patient’s room, would like directions to nearby restaurants, or needs an escort to a vehicle late at night, a security professional can provide prompt, courteous service. They’re also trained in emergency response, including first aid, CPR and use of an AED.
- Property management
Since security professionals will be inside and outside the facility every day on patrols, they’ll be able to see when something on the property is amiss, such as burnt-out lightbulbs, broken fences, equipment that is not working properly or vehicles that have been parked for an extended period of time.
- Fire Watch
Healthcare facilities are full of electrical and flammable equipment, and a dedicated Fire Watch is a valuable asset. In Oregon, if fire protection systems are down for more than 4 hours in a 24-hour period, a building must either be evacuated or have an approved fire watch until the system is back up and running; other municipalities have similar requirements.
When hiring a security service for a healthcare facility, you’re getting much more than trained officers – you’re getting well-rounded professionals who can fill a variety of roles and assist with the overall efficiency of your facility.
This post is part of a month-long blogging series for DePaul Industries: One blog post every weekday for a month! Stay tuned throughout March 2014 for more posts on staffing, security, packaging, social enterprise and hiring individuals with disabilities.