3 Security Threats in a Healthcare Institution

July 20, 2019

Security Threats in a Healthcare Institution

Treating patients seems to be the only concern for hospitals these days. To protect the patients, visitors, and staff, hospitals must take extra efforts to anticipate and prepare for security threats. It is important to have security services in a healthcare facility. Hospitals are vulnerable to crime and violence from patients, visitors, and sometimes, from their staff members. Therefore, security systems in hospitals should include proactive measures to create and reinforce their effective security protocols towards accountability, readiness, and responsiveness. The first step is to design an effective security system is to understand the security threats themselves. Here are some security threats concerning hospitals today:

1) Supplies And Property Theft

There are many things that can be stolen from healthcare facilities like drugs, food, and medical supplies. In 2009, hospitals reported 272 incidents of theft. By 2015, the number rose. The result can be extremely costly. The culprit could be anyone. It could be visitors, patients, and even staff. They find it easy to steal as no one bothers or asks any questions. Hospital theft could be a good indication of a vulnerable security system, and also contributes to unnecessary overhead costs.

2) Abuse And Battery Towards Medical Staff

Assault and battery towards medical staff is the most common type of security threat towards healthcare facilities. 80% of serious incidents were reported in healthcare facilities, and they were caused by interactions with patients and are usually caused by patients hitting, kicking, beating, and shoving the medical staff. There are many reasons for this. Patients could be the victims of an incident caused by a dispute by creating a hostile environment in the hospital. In other cases, patients would be suffering from instabilities due to addiction or mental health issues. 

3) Infant Abductions

Infant Abduction is the common type of abduction in healthcare facilities. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 317 cases of infant abductions have been taken place between 1965 and 2017. The majority of cases occur in the mother’s hospital room, and 8% of the cases, violence was inflicted on the mother. Many of the perpetrators disguise themselves as medical personnel to steal the child, and it is usually from the hands of the mother. In response, hospitals have cracked down on security measures and even patient education practices that directly address this type of risk. The system does not need to be complicated, but it should be effective. For example, access to maternity wards should be limited to qualified personnel or individuals who can prove their relationship to a patient. 

To address the increasing risk of in-hospital crime, hospitals must prioritize the prevention of crime, just as much as they respond to manage incidents. The solutions to achieve this include more advanced technology and data collection, and increased security visibility to deter criminals. Now is the time to examine whether your hospital needs updated practices. If you are in need of security services,contact us. Explore our cyber and online security services and healthcare security services too.

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