An Inside Look at Hospital Security

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on Nov 18, 2013

Security in hospitals is critical and they spend lots of money on security systems and services (e.g., third largest industry employing security guards). How hospital security works and what issues they face are key concerns.

In this interview with Margarita Castillo CPP, who retired after 24 years at University of New Mexico Hospitals as Manager Security Operations and Security team member, she explains why hospitals are different from traditional security settings, how officers coordinate with medical staff and what technologies worked and didn’t.

Why * ******** ** ********* **** *** ***** ********“The most unique thing is the fact that, as security, we’re dealing with patients and people with all types of medical issues, sometimes life-threatening heath issues. That very fact delays our ability to move them (patients) immediately should an emergency situation occur that threatens the hospital at large," she said.

***** ***** ******** ********, *** ******** *** ******** ** ******** and *** ********* *** * **** *********. ******* ** ***** concerns, *** ** *** ******* ******** *************** ** **** *** the ******* ** ******** *** ****** *** ******** ****** ******* remotely **** *** ******** ******. “*** **** ***** ****** ***** sound ** *** ******** ****** *** ** **** *** ********** would ******* *** *****, ******-********** **** *** *** ***** ***** ****** *** ****," *** said. *** ******** **** ***** ******* ** *** ***** *** maintain *********, ****** ****** **** ***** ****** ** ****, ******** and ********* **** ***** ******* * ****.

Why *** ********* **** ** * *********** ********* **** ** *** ***** ** *** ******** **** the ******* ***** ** ********. ****** *** ********** ****** ** or *** ** *** ********* **** ****. *** ******* ** medical ****** ***** **** * ****** **** ** * ******* life-threatening ********* **** ******** ********* ****** * ******* ******** ** other ********* ********. ******* ****** ******* *** ***** ***** ** the ** ***** **** **** ** *****, *********** ******. “** a ******, ******* *** **** ** ***** ***** ***** *** to *** ********* ****** ** *** ******’* *********," *** ****. There *** ****** ** ***** *** ******** ******* ******** ** ****** the ** *** ******* ** *** **** *****.

***** *** ********* * ****** ******** *** ****** ******* ************* **,*** ******** ******* ***** ********* room ********.  “** ****’* **** *** ******* ** ****, ** was **** * ******* ******** ****** *** ****** ** *** day,” *** ****. 

Worst ******** ********** *** *** *** **** *** **** *********

******** **** **** ** *** **** ** ****, *** ***** attempt ** ****** ******* **** ****** *** **** ****’*, **** the ******** ********** *********** *** *** ** ******** ** ******** ID ******. *** ******** ** ***** *** ******** ** *** hospital ********* *** ****** **** **** ***** *********** ** ****** the **** ***** ***** ** *** ********** *********** ******** ** areas **** ** *** “***” *****. ******* **** ** * teaching ********, **** ** *** ******* ******** ** ********* **** assigned ******** *********** **** ******* **** ** ****** *** **** of *** ******** ********** ** ***** ********. ******* ******** ** residents **** ******* **** ******* *** ******* **** ******* **** allowed **** ********** ** ****** ***** ******** ** **** ******. The ******** **** ******** ******** *** ******** *** ******** **** the ******* ** ******** *** *** ****** ***** ******* ******. “We ******* ******** *** ******* **** * *** **** ** make ** ****** ** **** *** *******,” *** ****.

** *** *** ****’*, *** ******** *** ************* *** ******** readers *** * ***** ** ****** ***. *** ******** ********** included *** ***** ***** ******* ********** *** ******** *** ******* 750 ******** *******. ********* *** ********* ******** ******* ****** ***** 1000.

*** **** *** ********** **** *** *** **** **** *** most ********* ** *** ******* *** ******** ******** ** ****** the *** ** ** **** ** ****** ***** ** ****** to **** ********** ******** *******. “*** ******* ** ***** ** area *** ** *** *** ******* **** ***** ** ******* over ***** ******** ****** *********** ** *** ******** ******* **** regard ** *** ** *** ******. * ***** **** ** something ** ***** *** ** *** *** ** **********. *** example, ** *** *** ******** ** *** ****** ****** ****** and ***** *** ****** ** *** ******* ****, * ******** positioned ******** ****** *** * ******** ******* ***** **** * tool **** ****** ***/*** ** ****** ******* **** ***** ******* a ******** *** ** *** ******* **** ** **********. * think ** ** ***** ** **** * **** **** *** security *****.  **’* *** *****, *** **’* *** ** *** level ** ***** ** **,” *** ****. ******** **** ** should **** **** ***** *********** ** **** ********** ***** ********** where *** ***’* ** **** ** * ****** ** ***** aggressive ** **** ******* **** ***** *****.

Security ******* ********Security officers were cross-trained to perform a variety of duties as required by the assigned location. Permanent location assignment often lead to complacency so security officers now rotate through locations and must learn the different tasks associated with that specific location, such as the Emergency Room or the Mental Health Center. This included patrols of the assigned facility, dispatch duties, access control, monitoring and operation of the video surveillance system. For patrols, they were trained not only to identify possible security threats, but to also challenge or question people who appeared to be lost or out of place, including people who might be off their medications. The training they received for this purpose was called “Crisis Intervention Training."

“**** ****** ******** ** *** ******* ***** ** **********, **** present **** * ******* *** ** **** ** ***** **** to ***** **** ** ***** ********,” *** ****. *** ******** officers **** ******* ** ********* ********* ********** ** ****** ****** issues ** ****** ** ** *****. **** **** ** ******** is *** ****** ***** *** **** ******** ** ****** ***********.

******** **** *** ******* ****** ********** ********* *** “****** ************ ******** (***)” ** **** *** ****** ******** ** ***** **** *** to **** **** ****** ****** ****** **** ** ******** ******, or *****  ****** ****** ******, *** ** ********* ****** *** their ********** *** **** *** ********** ** ****** ****** ********.

*** *** ******** *** ******* ** *** *********** ****** ********** and ******* * ************ ******** *** ******** ** *** *** ****** ****** ****** to *** ****** ********. *** **** ******** ********** ******** *** training ******* **** **** ** ***** ** ** ***** *** their ************. *** **** ******** ********** ***** ***** ******** *** *** topics ** *** ****** ****** ********* **** **** ** *** Emergency **** **********.

***** ******** *** ** ****, * ******* ***** ******** ***** to **** ******** ********. *** ** *** ******** **** **** hospital *********, ******* ** ********, ******** ******** **** **** *** ******* *** security ** * ******* *****. ****** *** ******, *** ****** of ******** ***** **** **** ** ******** ** **. **** did *** ******* *** ******** ** ******* ********* ********** *** was ****** **** *** ***** ************ *** ****** ******* *******, or *** ********* *** ****** *******.

Challenging ** * ******** *******

“***** ** ******, ******** ******** *** ********** *********, **** *** pick * ****** *** **** ***** ***** ********* *** ***** that ****** *** * *****. *** ******* **** **** * decision ** ** ******** ** ***, **** ***** **** *** the ******** ******* (*** **********) ******** *** ********. ** *** decision ** **** ** ***** *** ****** ***, ***** ** is ************ ** *** **********. **** ****** *** ********** ** bring ** * ****** ****** *** **** ** *** ** the ******** ******* *** ****** ********. **** *********** *** ******, the ******** ******* ***** ******* ****** *********** ** ** *** legitimacy ** *** ******’* ******* ** *** ********, *** ****. In **** ***** * ****** ***** ********* ** ******* **** of *** ******** ** ******** ******** **** ******* ******** ******* by ********* * ****** ** ********* ****.

"*** ********* ****** **** *** ******** * ****** *** ******* to ** ****, *** ** ***** ** **********," *** ****. "At *******, *** ********** ****** ****** ** ******** ** ******** immediately. ****** ******** ******* ** ***** ****** **** ** *** helps **** * ******** *** ** *** *********. *********** ***** particular ****** ********* *** *********** *** ***** ** *********.”

Incident ****

******** ******** *** ******** ** ******** * *** ** *** encounters ** ********* **** **** ******** **** *** ****** ** their *****. ***** ******** *** ********** ***** ********* *** *** turned ** ** *** ***** ********** ** *** *** ** their ******. *** ******* ** ******** ** **** ******* ***** he ** *** *** ********** ****** *** ****** ****, ** which **** *** ***-**** ** ******** ** *** ********** *** archived. ***** ******** ******** ** *** ***** ** **** ***** *** all **-****** ******** ******** **** ******** ** ******. ************* ** the ****** ******, ****’*, *** ***** *********** *********** **** ****** along ** **** ** ********** ** * ***** ***** ******** sheet.

Communication ******* ******* ***** *** ********

******** **** *** ** *** **** ********* ****** ***** ******* in * ******* ********** ** ************* **** ***** *****. *** security ********** *** **** *** *** ******* *********** ** ******* information ** ******** *********, *** **** ************ ******** ******** ****** new-hire ************.

“**** ** ******** *** **** ********** ***** ** ****** ***," she ****. “** **** **** ** ***** ******** ********* ** what *** ********* ****** *** ******** **** ******* ** ******** systems, *** **** ***********, *** **** ** *********** **** *** security ********** ****** **** ******* *** *** ******** ****.”  

**** **** ** *********** *** ****?  “** ****’* **** ** necessarily **** **** ******* ** ******** ******* * *** ******* X *** ********”, *** ****. “*******, ** **** ** **** that *** ******* ** **** * *** ** **** ** be **** *** **** ******** ********** ********* (***) *** ** aggressive ****** *** ** ******** ** **** ** ** ******** that * ****** **** ***** **** ... **** *** ** know **** ** ****** **** ** *** ** *** ******* (or *******),” *** ****. **********, ** ****** ******** ******** *** security ***** ** **** ****** *** *** ********** **** ********** to ** ******** *** ****** **** ** ***** ***** ****.

Security *******

******* ********** *** *** ************** ** * ******** ********* ****** within *** ******** ******. ******* ***** **** ******* ** **** 57 ** **** *** * ******** ********* **** ** * potentially ******* ******* ** *******. “** **** ** *** ********* phone ****, *** ********** ***** **** ********** *** ******* ** that ****. ** ******* ***** **** **** ****** *** *** security *********** ****,” *** ****. ***** ***** **** **** *** security ****** ***-********* **** ** ******* *********** ***** ***-********* ********** requiring ********.

Security ********The security team tried to make sure they could respond anywhere in the three-building hospital campus in about two minutes (a five-story building, seven story building and a mental health facility that was a block away). While the closest responding officer moved in the direction of the needed assistance, the dispatcher would relay information about the scene obtained from both the caller and any security cameras in the area. If the call came through the emergency number, all available officers would respond.  

“** ********* ** *****," *** ****. “** *** ***** ******* on *** ***** **** ** **** ****** *** ***** ******* then *** ***** ******** ***** **** *** *** ****** ** their *****. ** *** ******* ****’* *** ********, **** **** would **** ****** ** ******."

The ***** ** ***** ************ ** * ******** *******The main function of security cameras at UNM Hospitals was to provide real time situational awareness for the security team. The dispatcher and often, one other security officer monitored the security cameras while the others were on patrol and could be dispatched to check out anything observed from the control room. The priority cameras were at the entrances and the emergency room. If there was an incident, the dispatcher would pull up those camera views, or the camera views of the incident and do a quick review of the previous footage.

** ******* ******** ****, "*** ******** **** * **** ******* of ******* ********* ***'* *** ** ********* ** ** ***. The ******** *** *** ****** ****, ****** ******* **** * push ** ***** ********** *** ***** *********."

************ *** ********** ******** ** ****’* ******* ****** ** ******* **********. ***********, *** ********* *** **** ***** *** ******** *** a ******** ********* ** ***** ****** “**** ****."

“******* ** ******** * **** **** *****, *** *** ***** would ****** *** *** ******* **** ***** ***** ***** **** up *** ******** ********* ** **** ** ***** ***** ******** for ****** ****** * ***** *** ** ******** **** ***** conceal * **** **,” *** ****. *** ******* ******* ** the **** **** ****** **** ***** **** ****** ***** ***** without ***** ****** ***** ******* ** *** ********, ** *** wristband ***** ******* *** *** ****** ** *** *****, *** their ******** ** ******** *** ******** **** ****** **** ******* evidence ** ******* ****.

** ****, ***** * **** *** ****** ** * ******** in *** ****** *** ******, **** ******** ******** *** ******* and ***** **** *** **** ***** *** ******* ***** ******** but *** ********** ** ******* *****.  “**, **** *****, ******* of ****** ** ** ********* ** *** ********, **** ** Las ****** *** ******** * **** *****. **** **** ** show *** ****** **** **** ***** **** ******* ** **** the ******* ******,” *** ****. *** ****** ** ***** *** half ***** **** **** ***********.

**** ******** ***** ******* ***** *** ***** ********* ******** **** put *** ** ***** ** **** *** *** * ***** who ***** ** ******* ******* ********* *** *** *******.  *** baby *** ****************** *** ***** ***** *** * ***** ********.

Comments (2)

I was involved in quoting monitoring services to a security guard company on a tender for 100 care facilities and hospitals. One area that I saw was a big opportunity for technology was sending a mobile guard to facilities at shift change to escort staff to the parking lot. These were facilities without a static guard however were paying for 1-3 mobile guard tours a day. When isuggested improvements I got push back either because the guard company was not comfortable with the technology or saw elimination of guards as a reduction of billable services to support his mobile group.

I am curious who was the change agent responsible forintroducing technology in the hospital ( code pink, access control,...)I

The Director of Security (Vito F. Capobianco) was very progressive. He was very open to ideas/suggestions. It also helped that we were very fortunate to have an administrator who not only supported us in every way she could but also trusted us.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
The False SCMP Story on Hikvision NYC AI on Jan 14, 2019
In the past week, one of Asia's largest publications, the South China Morning Post (SCMP), posted an article about "Chinese [facial recognition]...
Wavelynx Access Control Manufacturer Profile on Jan 10, 2019
Denver-based WaveLynx is not well known as an access reader manufacturer, but OEMs for big industry brands including Amag, Isonas (Allegion),...
Combating Vaping Epidemic - Halo Smart Sensor Profile on Dec 21, 2018
Youth vaping has become an epidemic, according to the US Surgeon General, while the market leader, Juul, just received a $12.8 billion investment...
ACRE-Acquired Open Options Access Company Profile on Dec 17, 2018
Who is the company ACRE is acquiring? In this note, we examine Open Options line for best customer fit, key features, pricing, and main...
Open Options Acquired By ACRE on Dec 17, 2018
ACRE is doing deals again. A year after they sold Mercury, they are buying another access control company - Open Options. In this note, we...
2019 Access Control Book Released on Dec 12, 2018
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Mobile Surveillance Trailers Guide on Jan 17, 2019
Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive....
Exacq Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 17, 2019
Exacq favorability amongst integrators has declined sharply, in new IPVM statistics, compared to 2017 IPVM statistics for Exacq. Now, over 5 since...
Testing Bandwidth Vs. Low Light on Jan 16, 2019
Nighttime bandwidth spikes are a major concern in video surveillance. Many calculate bandwidth as a single 24/7 number, but bit rates vary...
Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
2019 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 14, 2019
The new IP Networking Book 2019 is a 285 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security...
Arecont Costar Layoffs on Jan 14, 2019
Arecont Vision, a Costar Company, has laid off more than 10% of their workforce in a move the company described to IPVM as a result of "important...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact