Healthcare Facilities Require Strong Security and Surveillance Measures
Compared to general health, safety, and crime statistics, hospitals and medical facilities are relatively safe places. However, the very nature of their business requires that they have incredibly valuable equipment, costly materials, and federally regulated substances on site that are prime targets for theft and that must be diligently monitored and protected at all times. Additionally, patients or visitors that are agitated or confused may try to cause harm to equipment – or unintentionally damage something – which will need to be properly recorded and reported on for any incident reports and insurance claims.
While coordinated activities by “professional” criminals targeting big-ticket items may happen occasionally, it’s more likely that secure facilities storing prescription medications are the most frequent targets. According to one report, many hospital thefts involve employees stealing controlled substances from pharmacies and storage areas while on shift. A healthcare compliance organization estimates that at least 20 million pills are stolen each year from hospital facilities – and also adds that this is likely a massive underestimation since there is no national database for tracking these types of missing materials. Additionally, even “petty theft” in hospitals adds up – with many hospitals reporting annual losses of at least $15,000 from theft of small items like towels, remote control, and even in-room telephones.
Over the past few years, theft and burglary rates have remained fairly steady in medical facilities, although burglary has seen a bit of an uptick over recent years, with rates increasing from .4 burglaries per 100 beds in 2018 to .7 burglaries per 100 beds in 2021. Meanwhile, thefts were on a decline – from a high of 8 per 100 beds in 2016 down to 4.9 per 100 beds in 2020; however, from 2020 to 2021, the rate increased from 4.9 to 5.7 per 100 beds. In fact, over 400 thefts from Charlotte-area hospitals were reported to police within two years, with reports of patients’ valuable jewelry, credit cards, and cell phones going missing as they received treatment – or worse, after they had passed.
MCA Provides Healthcare Facilities With Automated and Streamlined Surveillance Equipment
To protect property and patients and personnel, hospitals and medical facilities must ensure that the proper security measures are in place and that their systems work together with automated processes to lower response times and increase operational efficiency.
With Motorola Solutions’ Avigilon Cameras, MCA’s access control solutions, and automated radio alerts, security personnel will recognize when a secure area has been breached.
Motorola Solutions’ Avigilon Control Center, paired with their cameras, allows security personnel to immediately access video footage of the identified intruder and track them through the building. Images are also run through the database to help quickly identify the individual so that on-site security personnel have the appropriate situational awareness and first-response dispatchers can be provided with crucial details.
Once the individual’s image is properly captured, notifications and pictures are sent via WAVE PTX PTT alerts to all security personnel with relevant information and guidelines on monitoring exits and securing specific areas.
Local authorities are alerted, and relevant videos and images are automatically sent through to their systems. With Ally Incident Management, CommandCentral Aware Enterprise, and/or Critical Connect, incident logs are created and pre-populated to allow first responders to obtain the needed information while streamlining their reporting process.
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