The vast majority of healthcare security functions do not generate revenue, and those few that do rarely generate enough to be self-sustaining.
Security costs money, but it should be viewed more as an investment rather than an expense.
Unfortunately within the current climate, how healthcare security should be viewed and how it is often viewed, are entirely two different things. Since security does not generate revenue and many of our practitioners are not skilled in the ways of translating security responsibilities into tangible “value” or showing a return on investment, this is where many of the first reductions occur when times get tough.
The perception of security is very important, but decidedly difficult to quantify. How does one readily prove a negative?
There exists a certain counter-intuitive nature around security that the better job you do, the less you have to do, but constant vigilance is the key.
Criminals and those that would do our patients, visitors and staff members harm do not ever simply give up, they just move elsewhere until the time is more opportune. Constant vigilance is the mission but this is incredibly difficult to explain to someone who has never done this type of work unless we as security experts learn their language and translate our value to them accordingly.
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence when it comes to crime statistics and trends of undesirable activity. We must do a better job, now more than ever, in explaining what it is that we do on a daily basis and how it furthers our organization’s goals and objectives while simultaneously meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements all while fostering and cultivating a security culture and the continued perception of a safe environment.
Sound difficult? That’s because anything complex and worthwhile usually requires a lot of planning and preventative upkeep, and a good healthcare security program is no exception.
Healthcare security is an interesting study in contrasts. It is calm much of the time, then incredibly busy; it is mundane and then suddenly surreal; it is one of the most challenging and stressful jobs and at the same time one of the most rewarding, and if it were easy anyone could do it.
Regardless of size or scope or complexity of services or location, healthcare security has many commonalities, and only by working together to foster a mutual understanding of our issues and how to best resolve them can we hope to be successful.
Bryan Warren, Director-Corporate Security at Carolinas HealthCare System will be sharing more on this topic at the upcoming Safe & Secure Hospitals Conference on 20th and 21st October in Sydney. With a focus on healthcare security resourcing, Bryan will be talking about how to measure the tangible and intangible value of security.
Join Bryan at this unique gathering of hospital security and clinical management, alongside police, legal and ambulatory professionals, working and networking towards reducing violence and aggression in healthcare.
For more information about detailed conference agenda and to register, please visit the Safe & Secure Hospitals Conference website.