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Hospital shooting raises security questions

Hospital safety is being questioned after a patient shot and killed a doctor at Florida Hospital in Orlando on May 27.

Last month, a 53-year-old patient shot and killed a 41-year-old transplant surgeon in the hospital’s parking garage and then killed himself, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Since the murder, the hospital has stepped up its security and police escorts are available for those who need it.

Security experts say physicians are becoming more common targets of angry patients.

New infant security system dubbed Hugs and Kisses

A new infant security system involving ankle straps and monitors has been launched at St. Lucie Medical Center in Port St. Lucie, FL, to ensure infant abductions and mix-ups don’t occur.

Infants born at the hospital will wear ankle straps and a monitor known as a Hugs tag so nurses can track the infants anywhere on the maternity floor, reports An alarm will sound if an infant is moved to an unauthorized zone or if the ankle straps are removed.

Mothers will don a tag—called the Kisses tag—that electronically connects to her baby’s monitor. An alarm will also sound if the mother and baby’s tags don’t match.

Though no specific incident triggered the new alarm system, hospital spokeswoman Ginger King says the organization wanted an extra layer of protection to help parents feel safer.

Check out other infant security system news at Mac’s Safety Space.

How does your facility prevent infant abductions? Let us know in our comment section.

Nurses outraged over emergency room security switch up

A change in emergency room security staff has nurses up in arms at St. Josephs Hospital in St. Paul, MN. The hospital has replaced off-duty police officers on the night shift with security guards, reports

The hospital’s nurses union says hospital workers are put at risk by this change. The hospital says that switching is perfectly safe and hospital security guards work longer shifts than off-duty police officers. Off-duty police officers will still secure the emergency room Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

How do you think the hospital should handle the nurse’s opposition? Is this an issue of worker safety if the hospital still employs security guards? Let us know in our comment section.

Patient dies at Napa State Hospital from alleged attack

A patient died April 11 at Napa (CA) State Hospital, Napa while being subdued after attacking a fellow patient.

This event comes after a string of security issues at Napa State Hospital.

The incident, which occurred in a high security area of the hospital, has staff worried about how patients will respond, according to KGO-TV of San Francisco.

Kathleen Thomas-Morris, a Service Employees International Union steward, told KGO that patients and staff are scared of what might happen because of the death of a patient.

An autopsy was scheduled for April 13 because it was unclear how the patient died.

How do you think Napa State Hospital should be handling these ongoing situations? Let us know in our comment section.

Infant security program added to Colorado medical center

Tiny security devices are being put around infants’ ankles at the Vail Valley Medical Center in Colorado to set off an alarm if newborns are taken outside of a designated area.

The new security system, Hugs Infant Protection Service, allows staff to monitor the newborns. The ankle device is waterproof, reusable, non-allergenic, and comfortable, reports Vail Daily.

Doris Kirchner, president and CEO of the medical center, says 582 births took place at the hospital last year. The medical center is adding the Hugs program to its current infant security program, which includes educating parents and staff about preventing infant abductions as well as security drills.

Does your facility have an infant security program? Let us know in our comment section.

Healthcare provider uses technology to keep criminals away

Face recognition software is being used by a healthcare system to scan visitors entering the facility to detect whether they are “safe” or “dangerous.”

Atlantic Healthcare serves northern New Jersey and metropolitan New York and it instituted the technology to keep its staff and patients safe. Some of its buildings have 50 or 60 doors through which people can access the building, meaning the hospital chose to rely on technology because it simply does not have enough security guards, reports Security Director News.

Face recognition software has been installed in the emergency department that identifies high-risk people contained within the hospital database. Hospital staff upload photos of people who pique their interest so they’ll be alerted if these people enter the facility. The hospital is also able to identify whether a person has a criminal history by paying a monthly fee to access this information.

How does your facility keep out dangerous people? Let us know in our comment section.

Texas hospital enhances security system

The Scott & White Hospital-Llano (TX) replaced its outdated security system by purchasing a new one.

Along with a new security system for the hospital, Scott & White Hospital also purchased a cardiac monitoring system for Llano’s ambulances, reported The Llano County Journal.

The new $33,500 security system is being provided by McRoberts Security Technologies in New Jersey.

“We’re leap-frogging into the latest technology available,” Kevin Leeper, hospital CEO, said to The Llano County Journal.

What sort of security changes have you seen in hospitals? Let us know in our comment section.

How much is that doggy in the hospital?

A new member of security was added last summer to Lawrence & Memorial (L&M) Hospital, New London, CT: Jack, an 18-month old black lab.

L&M has been enhancing its security over the past year, spending close to $125,000 for improved emergency department safety, increased safety officer security, parking lot cameras, and most recently, Jack, reported The Day of New London.

The upgrade in security didn’t stem from a particular event, but the hospital wanted to ensure the safety of staff, patients, and visitors.

Though Jack is one of the most popular public safety members in the hospital, his duties are focused towards the safety of everyone. The dog’s primary focus is to keep illegal drugs out of the hospital that are snuck in by a patient or visitor, reported The Day. During his day, Jack moves throughout the hospital with his handler, public safety director Ken Reid.

“He’s always working, always looking around, always alert,” Reid said, “L&M is the sixth busiest emergency department in the state.”

Jack is trained to sniff and investigate areas, and can differentiate between legal, prescribed drugs and illegal drugs, according to The Day.

How useful would a dog like Jack be in your facility? Is this new addition a smart one? Let us know in our comment section.

Hospital gives after hours visitors access to only one entrance

With hopes to improve hospital security, Cookeville (TN) Regional Medical Center only allows after hours visitors to use a limited access point to get inside.

The hospital implemented this new type of security on December 7, closing one of the main visitor accesses from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Visitors have to enter through the emergency room entrance, reported The Herald Citizen of Cookeville. The cause for the security change came during a safety assessment conducted by the Cookeville Police Department.

CEO Bernie Mattingly said that the hospital sees countless people coming through the door every night. He told The Herald Citizen that violent incidents are becoming more common in hospitals.

“We assess the safety of our building every year, and this year, two officers were involved in that process as well as Chief Bob Terry, he said, “Based on that assessment, this was one of the main things we found we needed to do.”

Mattingly said the new security policy was an important move to protect patients, visitors, and staff members.

Along with the new access point, visitors who come after hours must sign in at the emergency room information desk, reported The Herald Citizen.

What do you think of the hospital’s new security policy? Does your hospital do anything similar to Cookeville Regional? Let us know in our comment section.

Napa State Hospital security under scrutiny again

A new question regarding security is arising in the October 23 murder of a Napa State Hospital nurse.

Donna Gross was checking into the guard station after taking her break when she was murdered by Jess Massey, an inmate patient. Hospital security was questioned after it was found to let patients walk around at their own leisure.

But now a new issue surrounding security had been brought up, which may have prevented the situation, said KGO-TV.

Anna Bock, daughter of Donna Gross, is questioning the security of the hospital. A police source told KGO that he saw Gross press an alarm button she was wearing on her belt, which didn’t work because the alarm does not reach outside of the building.

Bock was told by investigators that after Massey ran back into the building with a torn shirt and flustered demeanor, no one wrote him up, reported KGO.

“I just feel something could have been done and that if there’s anyone out there that can help, so that it doesn’t happen again,” Bock said.

Massey is still awaiting his trial.

Was this an issue with the hospital’s security system or do you think it was just a case of Gross being in the wrong place at the wrong time?