Security For Your Hospital Emergency Room: Four Things To Consider

Your hospital's emergency room provides care for serious, life-threatening situations, but it can also invite dangerous situations that require additional security precautions. Here are a few things you can do to help secure your emergency room and keep it safe for patients and their families.

Hire Armed Security Guards

If your hospital is located in a high-crime area, your staff may feel more comfortable with armed security guards in the ER. You can partner with a security company like Security Services Northwest, Inc to hire guards for the department. Consider how you would prefer to have the guards armed before you hire. You may feel more comfortable with arming the guards with tasers or rubber bullets, which can provide non-lethal ways to stop dangerous situations from escalating. If you do choose to hire security guards who carry firearms, be sure they have passed firearm safety courses to ensure they are properly trained.

Have A Check-In System

While your patients will check in with registration or a nurse, you may want to consider having everyone who enters the emergency room register. This can be as simple as having one security guard check ID at the door and record the names of those entering the building. The guard can hand out visitor passes, and he or she can work as a gatekeeper to prevent known troublemakers from entering the hospital.

Employ Community Volunteers

Some people may act aggressively in the emergency room because they are scared for their health or the health of a loved one, and some may be nervous about being in a hospital at all. You can help to provide a calming presence in the emergency room by using community volunteers. They can make fresh coffee and hand it out to those sitting in the waiting room, or they can offer to care for young children while parents see a doctor. Offering caring, compassionate services can sometimes help to ease frustration and keep people calm in the stressful situations that often arise in emergency rooms.

Teach Staff Protection Courses

Doctors and nurses may be at risk of physical injury from patients, particularly those with mental health or drug addiction issues. Consider hosting regular courses that teach doctors and nurses how to be safe while providing care in the emergency room. These courses might include how to approach a combative patient or how to remain safe while providing care to physically aggressive patients. This will ensure that your staff knows what to do when they have difficult patients and are waiting on your security guards to arrive.

Partner with your hospital's security department to come up with other options for protecting your patients, visitors and staff in your emergency room.