Atrium Health enhances security measures

Published 3:34 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018

As the healthcare industry continues to increase its attention on security, Atrium Health is furthering its goal of ensuring the safety of each patient, teammate and visitor by implementing enhanced security measures across its system.

In 2017, Atrium Health established a multi-disciplinary Workplace Violence Committee, tasked with studying and making recommendations to enhance security processes and procedures at Atrium Health facilities.

Many of the changes taking place will be visible to the public. Over the coming months, all visitors to Atrium Health facilities will be required to stop at lobby reception desks to check-in and receive name badges when visiting the hospital.

Metal detectors will also be installed at various locations, including Behavioral Health-Charlotte, Behavioral Health-Davidson and the emergency department at Carolinas Medical Center.

“Our goal driving this work is simple — to keep the people in our care, and the people providing that care, safe,” said Maureen Swick, senior vice president and system nurse executive and executive in charge of Atrium Health security operations. “Ensuring the safety and security of everyone who walks through our doors is a responsibility we take very seriously. We are continuously analyzing healthcare security trends and listening to feedback from our patients and teammates with the goal of making our facilities a leader in security and one of the safest places in our communities.”

In mid-September, Atrium Health will also begin increasing its number of armed security officers, with a goal of having an armed presence on every shift at many of its locations.

Other changes include:

• Reducing access points into Atrium Health facilities by 45 percent, providing greater control over who enters Atrium Health facilities.

• Training nearly 9,000 teammates in de-escalation techniques, personal safety and security-aware behaviors, and active assailant awareness.

• Activating Everbridge, an emergency mass notification system, to give employees real-time emergency information on their smartphones — allowing them to quickly react and respond to emergent situations.

Atrium Health believes that by remaining committed to best-practices in security it can continue to cultivate an environment where patients and visitors are safe, and teammates are protected and able to focus on providing the best care for the people in the community.