Keep em In / Let em Out ... the challenge of care facility security

What can be harder than keeping criminals away from a ton of gold? Maybe trying to keep criminals inside a maximum security prison? Might we suggest securing a health care facility…. The thing is with the gold or prisoners there is a very clear mandate and a very measurable outcome. In the unfortunate event of a security failure, it is generally pretty easy to establish the cause of the failure and then fix it. Solutions are usually found in strengthening the systems or processes. Health care … not so much. First of all, we want the residents to feel at home because it is their home. It is not a prison so let’s not be locking doors and sounding sirens if they go outside for some fresh air. They are free. The problem however is that in the event of diminished mental or physical health, the simple act of walking out of a facility can be a life threatening event for some residents. We want loved ones and family members to feel like they are welcome when coming to visit. They are coming to visit their loved one in their home not visiting them in a prison. On the other hand, there are substantial quantities of drugs and other assets that need to be secured. How do we distinguish wanted visitors from unwelcome intruders? The reality is that the simple act of holding a door open for an elderly person leaving a facility may be a life threatening event. It is difficult and technology has provided solutions. Low profile video surveillance and gentle access control are assisting however there are often left unmonitored which leaves them to provide an account of the incident as opposed to actively preventing an incident. Patient wandering systems are effective to the extent that the devices are not removed. It is frustrating to see the overworked nurses and care aids being thrust into security roles however that is often the reality. The solutions are not easy.

Security Training ….Like Learning to DriveBody Worn Camera …. You can’t handle the truth ;)