Evaluating a Hospital’s Security Risks
The CEO and President of a very large hospital in a major U.S. city had something on her mind. She oversaw operations that included a staff of approximately 450 providers in 25 specialties, two freestanding residency programs, a long-standing tradition as a teaching hospital and a commitment to serve a diverse major-city patient population that generated more than 200,000 patient visits each year across the medical complex’s satellite clinics. “What are the risks we face every day,” she asked. “And are we addressing them in the right way?”
Identifying the Best Opportunities to Improve Security Risk Management
Over the next several weeks, Hillard Heintze reviewed and assessed the hospital’s existing operations and capabilities for areas such as patient monitoring, infant protection, visitor management, emergency preparedness, communications and response, crime prevention, operational security and information security as well as security awareness training and education. We examined the functionality and effectiveness of the buildings’ security systems, including closed-circuit television, access control, intrusion detection, panic and notification systems, security communications and control room.
We also evaluated the security services provided by the hospital’s security management company. Finally, we benchmarked security operations against best practices in the health and hospital industry as well as our own knowledge, experience and insights in helping comparable institutions address similar security challenges.
Key Findings – and a Roadmap to Guide Investment for Several Years
The CEO and President was relieved to learn that, in general, the hospital’s security-related capabilities and risk management strategies were adequate – and that the few glaring vulnerabilities that emerged during the assessment were relatively easily addressed. Most importantly, however, she was informed by Hillard Heintze that several strategic factors were increasing the risks confronting the hospital – and could soon present it with a number of security challenges.
She wasn’t too worried. The final assessment report on her desk was explicit and detailed. At her fingertips was a roadmap on how to address these issues – with more than 50 concrete, actionable suggestions and recommendations across nine principal security-related domains.
Unplugged: The Project Manager’s Perspective
“Actually this hospital was in the middle of a very significant increase in growth at the time – measured not only by an increase in the physical footprint, but also an expansion in services and a significant surge in anticipated patient visits over the next several years. Change always brings risk – on multiple dimensions. We’re glad this hospital decided to take a look at its security and risk issues. The timing turned out to be vital.”
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