Medical practices, like their patients, are complex organisms with a seemingly infinite number of moving parts and functions. All these need to work together in perfect unison for the body to be healthy and function effectively.
It goes without saying that for any clinic, patient welfare is the primary concern. This can sometimes result in clinics relegating practical aspects of the business to lower priority.
Information and cyber security are rightfully a hot topic in the industry. However, medical clinics present a unique set of challenges that make strong physical security a necessity. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why security in hospitals, medical clinics, aged care facilities, and other similar locations should be considered a core function of the organisation.
Why Is a Security System Important in Healthcare?
There are a host of common security threats that healthcare organisations face every day. Some of these include:
- Difficult or Violent Patients: Threatening or violent behaviour from patients can take many forms. In some cases, patients may be drug or alcohol-affected. In aged-care or mental health settings, dementia and other psychological disorders can result in lashing out with reduced control.
- Pharmaceuticals & Narcotics: The presence of medications can act as a magnet for anti-social behaviour. With society-wide issues such as the opioid crisis continuing to spread, practices that keep pharmaceutics on-site can find themselves a target for external or internal crime.
- COVID: Medical and care facilities are the absolute frontlines in the battle against COVID-19. Managing who comes onto the premises and their level of compliance with COVID-safe protocols is critical for any infection control strategy.
- Sterile Environments & Disease Control: A fundamental concern for any medical facility – strict disease and sterility control is an area in which security measures can make a significant difference
- Patient Information: While many practices have moved to electronic record-keeping, protecting sensitive physical records remains vital.
- Equipment and Other Physical Assets: A typical medical facility can have hundreds, if not millions of dollars worth of medical equipment, devices, furniture and consumables. Protecting these assets is a financial and operational imperative for any facility.
What Security Measures Can Be Utilised In Medical Practices?
Fortunately, today’s medical clinics have an impressive arsenal of technology on which to rely for solutions to these problems. However, it’s vital to understand what each can and cannot do and what to look for when assessing which is right for your business.
1. CCTV: Your 24/7 Eyes on the Ground:
A professionally installed and monitored CCTV security camera system is your first line of defence against many external and internal threats. However, it would be unwise to assume that a system installed by anyone but a consummate professional will be sufficient to protect your location. Here are some things you need to consider before moving ahead:
- Deterrent Value: CCTV cameras in medical clinics, as with other locations, have been proven to deter intruders and criminals. However, there is a significant caveat – cameras alone are only moderately effective. For best results, other simple measures such as adequate lighting, prominent signage and alarms hugely increase the deterrent impact of your cameras.
- Camera Placement: What do CCTV systems and real estate have in common? Location is everything. A trained CCTV installation specialist will determine the optimal locations to install your cameras to ensure maximum coverage and eliminate blind spots. Of equal importance, your cameras should be easily visible to deter any untoward activity.
- OH&S: By definition, care facilities have higher traffic of elderly, injured and frail clients. The risk of falls and injury for patients and staff is a genuine business risk. A professionally installed CCTV system in your clinic will provide footage that you require for injury claims.
- Internal Security: CCTV cameras are important inside your medical clinic. Employee theft and misconduct is an unfortunate reality in the healthcare field. Workers who know that their movements are recorded are far less likely to submit to temptation.
When professionally planned, installed and supported by peripheral security measures, CCTV cameras in healthcare clinics can be one of the most effective security measures available.
2. Alarm – Stay Alerted:
The need for an alarm may seem obvious. However, alarm technology has come an enormous way in recent years, so it’s crucial to ensure that you choose a robust system that will provide you with the most comprehensive level of security and responsiveness. The best alarm systems for medical clinics should have several features:
- Zoning & Integration: Advanced alarms will integrate with your access control, intercom and other security assets. This provides you with comprehensive visibility over every aspect of your security and immediate response in the case of any breach. Critically, alarm zoning means you can tailor your protection to the specific requirements of each area of your practice.
- Back-to-Base Monitoring: The key to neutralising any significant threat is a swift, efficient and tailored response. Back-to-Base Monitoring provides you with around the clock surveillance by a team of professional security experts who are trained to react to any situation. To ensure the appropriate counter-measures, our team will discuss a range of potential security threats and devise a customised response to be initiated in each case. With trained, experienced eyes on your practice 24/7, you can rest easy knowing that it’s protected, even when you’re not connected.
- Remote Access: Smart alarms can integrate with connected mobile devices, allowing owners, practice managers and other relevant staff to arm, disarm, monitor and track alerts.
- Professional Installation: The best security companies will take the time to understand your business and premises and provide professional installation and support that will keep your alarm working at peak performance.
3. Access Control – The Control in Your Hands
The next step in securing your clinic is to control who can enter your facility and their movements once inside. Here too, there’s plenty to think about before deciding how to approach this aspect of your security strategy:
- Patient Screening: A sophisticated patient screening system has become an indispensable front-line weapon in the battle against the COVID-19. Modern screening systems have the capacity to confirm whether a visitor is wearing a mask and measure their temperature.
- Intruder Control: As a medical professional, you know that prevention is better than the cure. A sophisticated video intercom system will provide you with the visual and audio input needed to identify and deal with potential threats.
- Internal Security: Securing your valuable equipment, medications, patient information, and other assets is as simple as installing an access control key system. Smart access technology allows you complete control of who can go where and when within your facility. Furthermore, every entry and access can be recorded and referenced in case of a breach.
Choosing the right mix of security measures for your facility will ensure that you, your staff and your patients are safe so that you can get on with the business of your patients with peace of mind.
Are you looking for a security professional to help make your medical clinic a safer place? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help find a solution that fits your needs.