Secure facilities are essential to patient care. “At its highest level, one of the missions of a health care organization is to make sure that we are doing no harm to our patients and to our staff,” says Manuel Hernandez, M.D., emergency department physician and health practice leader for architecture firm CannonDesign.

"Part of that is the assumption that we create environments that promote safety and security, Hernandez says. To assist health care leaders in accomplishing this, the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety developed a set of design guidelines to help security professionals, design professionals and planning staff build security into new construction and renovation projects.

hospitals-against-violence“Unfortunately, we have too many lessons from the past of what has happened when that [security] has failed,” Hernandez adds. Incidents of violent behavior and pharmaceutical theft demonstrate the need for health care organizations to think about security in facility design and planning, he says.

“If you can influence the environment, you can make it a lot safer,” says Kevin MTuohey, executive director of research compliance, Boston University and Boston Medical Center.

A yearlong series of articles will focus on crucial lessons from hospitals that have responded to the epidemic of violence plaguing our nation. For more on how hospital's are addressing this issue, check out the American Hospital's Associations resource page.

For the rest of the story, visit H&HN sister publication, Health Facilities Management.