Once the Affordable Care Act  makes insurance mandatory, people will be taking advantage of their newly obtained insurance benefits. One prediction made by KSTP is that the shortage of primary care doctors and clinics accepting new patients could force individuals to seek medical services from already busy hospital emergency departments (ED).

In 2012, hospital emergency departments were a vital source of care for over 48 million uninsured Americans.  Often emergency departments experience overcrowding and prolonged waiting periods that can hinder the delivery of high-quality medical care and compromise patient, visitor, and ED staff safety. A possible influx of patients in the future has some hospitals and their security staff preparing and improving existing security measures to keep up with the changing U.S. healthcare industry.

At Criterion Healthcare Security we have developed ED – Secure™ to specifically address emergency department safety needs.  ED-Secure is a comprehensive toolkit that incorporates industry best practices in healthcare security in a program methodology that is easy to implement and maintain.  Some of those best practices are to:

1. Complete risk assessments with security industry specialists, recognizing potential threats and adhering to national patient safety goals and standards.

2. Control and track who is in the facility, identifying any potentially dangerous visitors.

3. Develop a security approach that addresses violent behavior including separation and de-escalation of combative patients and visitors using Crisis Prevention Intervention techniques.

4. Train all ED personnel on security procedures and techniques to identify, prevent, and mitigate violence.

5. Have emergency or ‘panic’ buttons properly installed in locations for ED nurses, physicians, and other personnel to call for hospital security.

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