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Phased Construction: Ensuring Safety and Security in Healthcare Facilities

Phasing during construction is a strategic approach that enhances the safety and security of healthcare facilities, ensuring that patients, visitors, and staff are protected while maintaining the integrity of healthcare services. Phasing is crucial for several reasons:

Minimized Disruptions to Operations:
  • Operational Continuity: Healthcare facilities need to maintain continuous operations, including critical medical services. Phasing allows construction to be completed in stages, ensuring that essential services remain uninterrupted.
  • Reduced Noise and Dust: By phasing construction, areas under renovation can be isolated, minimizing noise and dust that could affect patient care and the sterility of medical environments.
Enhanced Safety Measures:
  • Controlled Access: Phased construction helps manage and control access to different areas of the facility. Construction zones can be securely cordoned off, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and ensuring that only authorized personnel enter restricted areas.
  • Emergency Routes: Clear, unobstructed emergency routes can be maintained throughout the construction process. Phasing allows for the planning and maintenance of alternative routes for emergency evacuations, ensuring patient and staff safety.
Effective Implementation of Security Systems:
  • Incremental Installation: Phasing allows for the step-by-step installation of electronic and physical security systems. This ensures that each phase is fully secured before moving on to the next, maintaining a secure environment throughout the construction process.
  • Testing and Validation: Security systems can be tested and validated in each phase, ensuring they function correctly and addressing any issues before the entire system is deployed. This phased approach minimizes vulnerabilities that could arise from a simultaneous, large-scale deployment.
Patient and Staff Safety:
  • Reduced Risks: Phased construction helps reduce risks associated with construction activities, such as accidents, exposure to hazardous materials, and structural instability. Patients, visitors, and staff are less likely to encounter construction-related hazards.
  • Enhanced Communication: Clear communication plans can be implemented for each phase, ensuring that all stakeholders are informed about construction activities, safety protocols, and any changes in access routes or emergency procedures. Plus, communication must occur in real time with the use of temporary intercom and public address strategies.
Compliance with Regulations:
  • Regulatory Requirements: Healthcare facilities are subject to strict regulations and standards for safety and security. Phased construction helps ensure compliance by allowing for regular inspections and adjustments in response to regulatory requirements, minimizing the risk of violations.
Budget and Resource Management:
  • Cost Control: Phasing allows for better budget management by spreading costs over time and enabling adjustments based on project progress and available resources. This ensures that security measures are not compromised due to financial constraints.
  • Resource Allocation: Resources, including security personnel and equipment, can be allocated more efficiently during phased construction, ensuring adequate coverage and support at each stage.

Healthcare Security Guide cover - bookletLearn more about Healthcare Facility and Hospital Campus Security and Safety in our free guide

As a security manager or administrator in a healthcare facility, understanding and addressing your distinct security needs is paramount. This guide focuses on the critical aspects you must consider to protect your patients, staff, and visitors. By examining the unique challenges faced by healthcare operators, we provide a comprehensive overview of the strategies and technologies essential for a robust physical security program. It is crucial to ensure compliance with HIPAA, Joint Commission, and IAHSS guidelines and regulations to maintain a secure and accessible environment.

Recent trends highlight a significant increase in violence within healthcare settings. According to the IAHSS Healthcare Crime Survey, simple assault rates have been rising alarmingly. The data indicates that from 2012 to 2019, assault rates were approximately 10 incidents per 100 beds. However, in the past three years, this rate has more than doubled. This statistic underscores the urgent need for enhanced security measures in healthcare facilities.

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Healthcare Security Guide cover - booklet


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