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How To Mitigate Possible Security Threats In A Hospital

Posted on:   In: Blog

Modern healthcare facilities nowadays are facing more and more problems in terms of safety. With high technology equipments and crowds of patients, it is becoming more attractive and easier as an option to break into to loot. Although the physical items in the hospital tend to be very expensive and valuable and would get burglars a good profit in the black market, theft of invaluable information which are confidential and person is also becoming popular.

Modern day hospitals run on computerized systems which are extremely easy to hack into even if you are not physically in the hospital, and this is worrisome compared to the days of stacks and stacks of handwritten paper clinical records. There are ways about ensuring there is security and protection around and inside any hospital, and in this article we will run through these points.

Having an open system

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One way to keep things more protected is to have an open system. There is a need to make sure that access control methods are dependent on an open physical structure of the hospital. This way you can add in more features and technology to the existing structure overtime. Technology should also be used in our favour to engage more protection. With recent advancements, using a smart card has become something very normal and common these days and this can come in handy as a baseline level of protection especially for information.

Using smart cards along with other added elements of technology ensures that only those in power of the information are allowed to receive it. It should be added on with other protocols which operate along with the hierarchy of the staff level to ensure that information is passed down in a succinct and adequate manner protecting confidentiality where it can be afforded. Using protocols gives people an understanding of why things are run in a particular way and gives a blueprint to follow when things slip out of hand. It is also convenient to follow protocols since they are straight forward.

Being flexible

Overtime it is bound to happen that more and more features are added to an existing system, so the present structures and people in this setting should be flexible to allow that to happen. They should also be quick to change along with the added features to use them to their benefits. For example in the case of smart cards, overtime, the management might want to comprise more features and access into a single card for convenience. This reduces the hassle of having to carry multiple access cards and also gives a more personalized access control system for each individual of the hierarchy. Such features run from opening through different doors in the hospital, accessing through different computer accounts, making purchases which do not require cash, and getting important and confidential material for their viewing.

Managing visitors

This is one important part of any security program of a building. The inflow and outflow of people must always be taken to account and must always be kept under control. Having guest books for people to sign in and out is a simple but very ineffective way to do this. Such should be changed with more advanced and protected systems like those that are able to screen, tag and track most visitors who are coming in. This is especially required for more important areas of the hospital like the VIP wards, Paediatric units and Intensive Care Units (ICU). It is important to note that not all visitors are those who are related to patients.

Staff’s relatives, acquaintances, people who come into the hospital for projects regarding electricity and construction and even students on placements are all considered visitors. Some of these people as mentioned are required to have a daily access for a certain period of time and this should be addressed in the way we screen and badge them for them to feel convenient and for us to keep track of.

Controlling devices used

It is important to safeguard patient’s clinical records more than any physical valuable item in the hospital. Confidentiality is crucial and the only way to limit computerized records from slipping into the wrong hands is to ensure that such records are made to be only viewed with certain devices. These devices should be registered with and should only be kept within the hospital. They should be also protected with passwords and other features for added protection and should be made clear with the management that such passwords are not to be given out easily.

For visiting doctors, instead of sharing the passwords with the existing staff, they should be given one off sign in keys for them to access the information during the time period of which they are serving the hospital. This way no one would have the control to re-access the information at their own convenience.

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