From building security to PPE, hospitals must be protected from potential negative outcomes on all sides. Of the most common threats to hospital security, germs are probably the most well-known. But hospital employees must stay alert; disease isn’t the only thing that can bring a hospital to its knees.
Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the advent of telehealth and remote medical care. Plenty of hospitals now use apps and proprietary messaging systems to interact with patients. Those messages and online records are especially vulnerable to hackers, so it’s crucial to enable encryption and two-factor authentication on all systems that hold patients’ personal health information.
Medical equipment and life-saving drugs are more valuable than gold in a medical setting, though they are not always as adequately protected. Controlled substances are some of the most commonly stolen items in healthcare environments. Avoid leaving drugs and medical supplies like syringes lying around; keep them in locked drawers or behind an access control system that bars all unauthorized individuals.
Unfortunately, healthcare professionals have reported greater concern for their safety in recent years. In-hospital shootings have been on the rise over the past two decades, and many of these incidents occur in the emergency room. New security protocols have sprung up to protect both staff and patients, often taking the form of regular active shooter drills or heightened monitoring of visitors.
Since the healthcare industry was ravaged in 2020, medical professionals have been stretched to their limits in treating patients and staying safe. That exhaustion opens dangerous gaps in security, from neglecting to log out of proprietary software to letting a potentially dangerous visitor wander into a patient’s room. Maintaining an adequate, reliable hospital staff prevents any one person from burning out and allows everybody a little time to breathe.
As you prepare to beef up your hospital’s security, identify any potential or existing weak spots. Many of the biggest threats can’t be thwarted with a mask. Make sure safety means more to you than a visitor’s badge and a bit of hand sanitizer.