What hospitals should consider before changing security infrastructure

For hospitals and health systems looking to overhaul or update their security infrastructure, there are three things to consider, according to Fawn Staerkel, director of strategic accounts at Johnson Controls and cited by Campus Safety Magazine.

Over the next year, Ms. Staerkel said many hospitals will be focused on updated video surveillance and physical access control.

Here are three key ideas to consider when updating security:

1. Discuss difficulties and goals with a trusted advisor: Ms. Staerkel suggests meeting with security professionals or experienced partners to navigate future plans. Hospitals must be transparent about plans for development, down-sizing or changes in services in order to be successful.

2. Assess your facility's existing infrastructure: This is a key step when looking to update any type of infrastructure.

"The objective of any long-term goal should be the inclusion of legacy systems that are in the facility. You should always consider leveraging existing investments wherever possible,” Ms. Staerkel said. “We need to get a solid assessment of the technologies that are there, including brands, models, quantities and locations. Capture current software information, including software revision versions on all existing systems."

3. What do we need? When hospitals are evaluating access controls, it is important to also consider who needs access to what areas of the hospital. It is also crucial for hospitals and health systems to review HIPAA standards.

"We will frequently see hospital staff with a stack of access cards, especially when a staff member requires access to multiple facilities. Minimizing the number of cards staff has to use and ensuring that the system is capable and designed for the holistic needs of the healthcare system is key," Ms. Staerkel said.

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