Hospital Security in the Age of Coronavirus

Taking a wider look at the security challenges hospitals and medical facilities face in the age of Coronavirus.

The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been a challenging time for societies the world over. However, these challenges are magnified ten-fold when it comes to the experience of hospitals and (other medical institutions) to balance care and hospital security.

Of course, the term hospital security has evolved during this pandemic. Simply put it now means more than protecting patients from violence, or institutions from serious data breaches. Hospital security – or health security – in 2021 is now understandably synonymous with keeping patients and staff safe from Covid-19 and other deadly viruses. As a result, security measures have been successfully ramped up to monitor who is gaining access to medical facilities.

Although the health security landscape may have changed in 2020/2021, it is still important that hospitals and medical facilities’ security plans are comprehensive.

Patient and two doctors in full ppe behind a door in a hospital with restricted access and covid outbreak signs

Theft of Facilities and Medicine

Hospitals contain very expensive equipment, therefore making them a target and easy payday for thieves that can get their hands on it. Medicines are one of the most commonly stolen items within hospitals, with sadly staff being the culprits in some cases.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has put limitations on people being able to access medical facilities, post-pandemic this will gradually become less the case. Hospital security personnel and CCTV cameras provide solutions to access issues in many cases. On the other hand, healthcare is an incredibly private thing and surveillance of certain areas may be seen as intrusive.

Medical Data: Safe and Secure?

Issues of medical security do not always involve a threat to health or wellbeing. Hospitals and medical facilities often retain large quantities of patient data on their servers. If accessed criminally this could lead to a major breach in security. As a result of the rising threat of cybercrime, investment in cybersecurity has been increased by organisation such as the UK’s NHS.

close up of Data Centre servers

Violence and Terrorist Threat

In February of 2021, the British Government reduced the risk of terror attack in the UK from ‘severe’ to ‘substantial’. Although the threat of Covid-19 is currently leading headlines both nationally and internationally, it is important to note that the risk of terror is still present.

Hospitals both in and out of war zones have been targeted with terrorist violence, harming vulnerable people in the process. However, violence as a hospital security threat is not only limited to terrorism.

Without appropriate security medical facilities sometimes have to face up to violence from patients or their relatives, and in some cases, people looking for retribution.

To reiterate, security personnel, CCTV and cyber security are all valuable preventative measures. However, on the other hand, when it comes to effectively bolstering hospital security from violent acts, they may not be enough.

Physical Security Solutions for Hospital Security

An aspect of medical security than can often be overlooked is physical security. Whether it be secure cabinets to protect medicines, or access controlled high security doors to manage people moving in and out, physical security is a key part of the mix to keep staff and patients safe.

For instance, take the example of a high security door. A high security door crucially remains in place at all times. This differs from manned security personnel who may be away from a sensitive or critical area, or CCTV which although often reliable and ever present does not provide a barrier to entry.

Warrior Sliding Door in a white room

CCTV a Barrier Against Patient Privacy

Balancing issues of security and patient privacy can often be complex. Although a frequent go to solution, CCTV is not always an appropriate measure when considering patient privacy. In fact, surveillance of sensitive areas could strip patients of dignity. 

On the other hand, physical security can act as a robust barrier to safeguard these areas where patients may be situated without recording or monitoring them.

Warrior Doors and Hospital Security

At Warrior Doors, our stainless-steel physical security solutions are an optimal choice for a hospital or medical facility’s security strategy. Whether it be stopping unauthorised access, keeping server rooms secure (e.g., servers being physically stolen) or providing a barrier in front of a safe room, we have a wide range of solutions ideal for medical security scenarios.

Our doors are controlled via advanced locking systems and access control solutions. These ensure that only those who have the correct permissions can gain or provide access. They can be fitted with either sold stainless-steel panels or certified security glazing (LPS 1270).

Furthermore, a wide variety of our products are tested and certified up to LPS 1175 SR4 by LPCB at BRE.

Warrior Sliding Door inside a hospital with ambulance staff around

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