At Abbott Northwestern Hospital in south Minneapolis, the campus is open in the daytime. But, like in many hospitals, all night-time visitors are funneled through one emergency room entrance.
Abbott security director Sue Durkin said a guard at the door asks visitors to sign in and explain why they're there, and only then do they get a visitor sticker.
Rick Huston, plant operations director at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, said women in labor or those visiting dying patients often are late-night visitors.
Special locking mechanisms, off-duty police officers and dozens of surveillance cameras are used at Regions to check late-night visitors.
At Hennepin County Medical Center, where more than 300,000 people visit clinics and hospital rooms a year, 200 close-circuit cameras are used.
"Many times, these people are in very stressful, highly charged situations and de-escalating conflicts is important," said Lappe, HCMC's safety director. "To actually have an assault or something happen to a patient is very rare."