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Must Have Solutions for Protecting Hospital Staff

Imagine if you could improve retention in your hospital by making your team feel safer at work. Now imagine if the same solutions for protecting your staff also helped reduce hospital costs and allowed clinicians to focus on what they do best – care for patients!

Innovative security solutions for hospitals can prevent attacks, streamline check-in experiences, reduce workplace injuries, and improve patient experience. To illustrate how these solutions work, we’ll examine the emergency department where 50% of clinicians report being assaulted on the job. You won’t find any ads or links to specific products, just an unbiased introduction to the systems you should be considering for your hospital.

We’ll breakdown the E.D. in these three zones as we provide details on how each solution better protects your team and improves operations.

1. Entry and Waiting Room

2. Emergency Department & Patient Rooms

3. Perimeter

1.) Emergency Department Entry & Waiting Room

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Entry Surveillance with Advanced Analytics

New cameras with advanced analytics better protect your staff by looking for anyone carrying a weapon near your hospital and sending alerts when someone with a weapon is detected. These systems will also immediately notify staff if a patient that has caused problems in the past shows up at the hospital. This allows staff to be proactive in protecting themselves and others from potentially dangerous patients and visitors. 

Weapons Detection

Weapons screening systems are essential for discovering any guns, knives, razor blades, and other potentially harmful items people may try to bring into the hospital. Screening systems can be boldly displayed to help deter potential attackers or be blended into your facility so they do not negatively impact the patient experience. Both approaches will provide a much needed layer of protection for clinicians, patients and guests. 

Visitor Management

You can’t protect your staff and patients if you do not know who is inside your hospital. Enacting visitor management policies, procedures, and systems will give you visibility into who is coming into the building and what their purpose is for being there. These systems can also help identify people with warrants and known sex offenders that may pose a greater risk to staff. 

Lobby Surveillance 

Patients and visitors can become agitated quickly during their wait. To effectively monitor for potential violent outbreaks, you need surveillance coverage that gives you visibility to every area within the lobby/waiting room. Smart analytics on these cameras also detect if someone is making aggressive movements or using threatening language. Using A.I. based analytics to automatically detect when an attack is likely or someone is crossing into a security sensitive area is highly recommended in the emergency department due to the increased likelihood of an attack. 

Self-Service Check-in Kiosk & Digital Wayfinding

Self-Service Check-in kiosks help you deliver a streamlined experience for patient registration and can be combined with Visitor Management Systems. When executed well, these systems will also reduce wait times by integrating with your hospital’s check-in systems. Patients are able to register for treatment online and then they are alerted on their mobile device when they are ready to be seen. These kiosks and mobile check-in experiences can also provide guidance on where the patient should go within the facility to be treated.

2.) Emergency Department & Patient Rooms

Wearable Duress Buttons

Giving clinicians this ability to request immediate assistance when they feel threatened will make them feel more protected and cared for by their leadership. The wearable duress devices also provide security staff with the exact location of the person requesting assistance. This allows them to get to the victim’s location as quickly as possible to help prevent severe injuries.

Electronic Access Control

New advancements in access control systems allow for contactless and biometric based access to secure areas in the emergency department. With situations in the ED changing rapidly, these access control system features can improve clinical workflows and reduce burnout.Instant access to discrete duress alarms is invaluable in the emergency department where violence can erupt without warning. 

Audio and Video Analytics

Audio and video analytics make your surveillance systems smarter and are a force multiplier for your team. Security staff is immediately alerted if shouting or threatening language and/or movements (punching, swinging arms, jumping up and down) are detected in the department. This proactive approach enables attacks to be prevented and reduces response times during any attacks. 

The analytic systems can also detect slip and falls and safety compliance issues from staff (hand washing, safety gear usage, etc.).

Risk Insight

At the risk insight station, staff can flag patients that pose risks to staff, monitor threats on social media, and keep an eye on department surveillance.  Paying close attention to each of these things allows emergency department staff to proactively respond to issues before they escalate.

Remote Patient Observation

Empower your clinicians with the ability to monitor patients remotely from their nursing station. This lessens staff exposure to infectious diseases and also gives nurses a way to monitor patients with mental health issues without having to be dangerously close to the patient for each interaction.  2-way audio and video is also available so conversations can be had with the patient without direct contact. Many HIPPA compliant solutions for this exist already and are being widely adopted in hospitals across the US.

Nurse Station Duress Button

Nurse station duress buttons allow staff to quickly alert security if a violent event is occurring within the department. Having easy access to these duress buttons can reduce response times during an attack and mitigate injuries to staff and damage to the department. While we advocate for wearable duress solutions, having a nurse station duress button is also highly recommended.

3.) Emergency Department Perimeter

Smart Speakers

Combining smart speakers with video analytics can reduce the number of times security staff is dispatched to problematic areas. If you have an area where smoking and loitering is prohibited, a camera can detect any violation and the speaker can play a customized message asking for people to not smoke in the area. The same can be done in a no parking area if a car is detected in a place it is not supposed to be. Security operators can also make live announcements and requests through the speak for special situations.

Perimeter Monitoring

Having cameras in and around the parking area of your emergency department is critical. These camera views give you visibility into what issues could spill over into your department from your parking areas.  If a disgruntled spouse or family member arrives on site and is approaching with intent for harm, your camera systems will give you an early warning. The early warnings automatically alert security teams so they can preemptively respond to the potential attack or remotely lockdown an area.

Video Analytics

Video analytics help your security staff monitor what is happening around your emergency department and provide alerts when potential threats arise. People are not built to constantly view video feeds to identify threats but new A.I. solutions are trained to detect specific patterns and events.  Video analytics can detect if someone is crossing into a no trespassing zone, approaching the hospital with a weapon, or any other number of potentially risky behaviors.

See Where Your Hospital Can Improve With a Security Technology Assessment

Advancements in security technology are allowing hospitals to make good on their commitment to provide the highest quality patient care and safety. And a new wave of healthcare executives have agreed that the security guard alone can not meet today’s security needs. 

It is time to consider a security technology assessment to see what your hospital is doing well, where you can improve, and how you can customize security technology to fit your hospital’s specific needs. Contact HSJ to receive more information on an assessment and the process to upgrade your security technology.

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