In October 2007, GE Security and IAHSS released a survey of hospital security and safety personnel that provides additional justification for federal support for increased physical security investments at hospitals. The GE/IAHSS study found that:
• 3 percent of security budgets was spent on technology;
• 25 percent of security technology budgets was spent on equipment upgrades, 33 percent on new additions and 43 percent on maintenance; and
• 34 percent of respondents stated that security budgets were expected to decline in the coming year.
All units of a typical hospital — from radiology, to pediatrics, to the parking lot, to the power plant — are vulnerable to criminal or terrorist attack and worthy of increased physical security investments and a dedicated source of federal funding. Promoting a safe and secure environment for doctors, nurses, staff, patients and visitors will contribute to the quality of health care and should be considered a public health priority by leaders in Congress. Passing the Securing America’s Hospitals Act or providing other sources of federal funding will move the nation much closer to achieving this critical goal.
Don Erickson is director of government relations for the Security Industry Association.