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Ensuring proper security at nursing homes

Ensuring proper security at nursing homes
Security is one of the major reasons that people choose to move to nursing homes or similar long-term care facilities.
Security is one of the major reasons that people choose to move to nursing homes or similar long-term care facilities. For this reason alone, nursing home authorities have a serious responsibility to ensure that they put in place the best possible security solutions.

According to Courtney Pedersen, Communications Manager at Milestone Systems, nursing home issues involve both safety and security. They have to guard against loss of high value assets like medical equipment, as well as internal or external theft of pharmaceutical supplies. There can be just plain misuse of drugs by patients left unsupervised or with improper access to key areas. There can be workplace violence with patients who are disturbed, ill or have poor reactions to medicines.

“Probably two of the biggest issues are patients falling and ‘eloping’ (wandering off) the premises if they are not monitored properly or the grounds perimeters are not secured,” Pederson noted. “Staff working shifts round the clock and visitors coming and going to see patients also should be monitored, including parking situations if a facility is large and spread out.”

Key factors to consider

Just as with other health care facilities, nursing homes too have to comply with several rules and regulations to operate legally. Depending on the country you are located in, these could vary, but adhering to these regulations are critical to the business.

Pedersen agreed to this as she pointed out that regulation compliance is critical to maintain the levels of quality operation to stay in business and provide people with the service they require and pay for. Nursing homes have to ensure the protection of people, property and assets in a unique 24/7 environment with ‘customers’ who may not behave in predictable ways.

“Besides the solutions described above, video monitoring is useful for operational efficiencies like managing deliveries, hygiene and cleaning services, safe food preparation, and the constant flow of people traffic, as well as personnel training matters,” Pedersen said.

Ideal solutions to secure nursing homes

Intrusion detection systems can protect the perimeter of the property, and access control systems can ensure those entering and exiting the buildings are authorized during the right time periods. In fact, access control systems play a crucial role in almost all health care facilities.

Pedersen also noted that video surveillance management systems to monitor, alert to, archive and investigate activities in the facility. Larger facilities can make use of mapping features for better overview.

“High resolution network video cameras ensure clear detail in the images, video analytics software makes looking for evidence more efficient or in the case of LPR/ANPR can monitor parking areas and proper access,” Pedersen said. “RFID integrations with the video system can also be made with patient tags to alert to movement off premises, in addition to video analytics warning of movements off boundaries that have been set in the system.”
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