Medical office security or clinic security is no longer something only those in high-crime areas have to worry about. It is touching everyone within the industry.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security noted there were hundreds of shooting incidents at medical facilities from 2000 to 2017. And violence isn’t the only security issue. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported a steady rise in data breaches within the healthcare sector since 2012.
Luckily, facilities have several steps they can take to help offer better protection for their buildings, employees, patients, and data. The key is to provide multiple levels of protection for the most secure facility.
The first line of defense for any facility is to secure the building. When looking into doctor’s office security, there has to be a balance between being open and being secure. Focusing on specific aspects of security will provide the greatest protection.
Most facilities have basic protections, including locked doors and barriers. They use parking passes or have restricted parking areas, and parking lots have good lighting, signage, and surveillance cameras. But a facility can do more to enhance security without making it feel like a prison.
One of the most critical steps is to assess high-risk areas. Emergency rooms are often vulnerable to violence because they are always open to the public. Increasing the security presence outside the ER helps substantially to protect against issues that may arise. Additional security measures might include:
- Monitoring cameras
- Restricting entrances to one door
- Placing security guards at entrances
If an issue arises, they can lock down and keep the problem contained inside the building by making sure they can easily block off areas and restrict access to the rest of the building. Using key cards, pin codes, or biometrics at these entrances dramatically reduces the ability of anyone getting through who should not have access.
Cameras are an invaluable tool for security because they allow people to monitor the whole facility. They can watch for signs that may indicate a problem, alert the staff on the floor, and hopefully, avert a crisis. In addition, such surveillance is a blessing during an incident as staff can remain up-to-date on what is happening even if they cannot directly see the situation.
The cameras are also a good source of evidence should something occur. They can capture unbiased data about what happened, who did what, or who said what if there is a dispute about an incident.
Preparing the People
One of the best forms of security any medical office or facility has is its staff. Doctor office security starts with its people. Proper training on safety measures is essential.
Training should include the following:
- Crisis intervention procedures
- Security equipment use
- Response procedures
- Incident reporting
Ideally, staff members should know exactly what to do and how to respond to a security situation the instant it comes up. They should have no questions about proper policies and procedures because taking even a moment to hesitate could cause a situation to escalate.
Facilities also must address workplace violence. It is one of the top risks for medical personnel. An angry patient or domestic situation can quickly explode into a severe security issue. Staff should have plenty of support and know where to go if they feel threatened or unsafe. Preventing a situation from becoming violent is the goal, but staff needs support services to make this happen.
Safeguarding the Data
The amount of data medical facilities have is incredible. Safeguarding this sensitive information is essential to avoiding reputation damage and serious legal ramifications.
Hackers have gotten incredibly skilled at breaking into even the most secure systems. The key to keeping data safe within a facility is to ensure confidentiality and reduce accessibility.
Safeguards, such as locking up records, monitoring access, and installing cybersecurity programs, can really help. However, today’s medical facility environment has additional weaknesses that require attention. Specifically, the increase in remote workers makes it a necessity to ensure a system is safe no matter where access occurs.
Facilities must require proper login procedures that use secure features, such as finger scans instead of passwords or multi-factor authentication. Furthermore, staff must receive proper training as to how to maintain the confidentiality of information in their possession outside the facility.
Taking Doctor Office Security Seriously with ADS
Whether it is doctor office security or the need to protect a large facility, Alarm Detection Systems (ADS) is available to assist you. We focus our security services on providing electronic security solutions that address all the needs of a modern facility.
Our services include a three-pronged approach: deter, detect, and document. We want to give you peace of mind 24 hours a day that your facility is in good hands. See what we can do to ensure your security is up-to-date and robust enough to protect against threats from violence or data hackers. Contact us today to fill out our online form for a free consultation.
About Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Alarm Detection Systems is one of the largest alarm firms in the country. Family-owned since 1968, we provide business alarms, fire alarms, card access, security cameras, and home security systems. Proudly servicing Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin in the Midwest. Call us at 630.844.6300 for more information.