Hospital Security Roundtable

A look at the trends in hospital security, with input from top healthcare security directors

Matthews: The risk to sensitive areas must be addressed as part of the facility's security plan. Silent duress alarms and emergency phones are key elements in areas such as parking, HR, the ED or cashiers. Intrusion alarms in the pharmacy and on high-value or limited-availability items are a standard. An area sometimes missed is a safe within an office. Adding a door contact to a safe will monitor that it is closed properly and indicate when it is opened.
Recorded CCTV can be a valuable tool in deterring wrongdoing and providing video documentation. It provides the control center security officer multiple windows from which he or she can watch the environment and direct others to assist persons or correct a problem. The proper employment of technology also requires a detailed plan for preventative maintenance, integrity inspection, and timely replacement as new technology emerges and equipment ages.

Joanne Harris is a published writer and photographer for such magazines as Security, Technology & Design, Control Engineering, PC104 Embedded Solutions, Florida Living and Better Homes & Gardens. She has more than eight years' experience in marketing, PR and advertising for the aerospace, security, industrial automation and telecommunications industries. She can be reached at