Florida Hospital System Boosts Security with Metal Detectors, Visitor Badges

Florida Hospital System Boosts Security with Metal Detectors, Visitor Badges

The BayCare Health System of hospitals in Florida has increased security measures at most of its facilities now, including metal detector screenings.

The BayCare Health System of hospitals in Florida has increased security measures at most of its facilities now, including metal detector screenings.

Most BayCare hospital facilities will now require visitors to pass through a metal detector screening and show identification before they can enter. Visitors who successfully pass these two steps will receive the photo ID badge required to enter the facility.

According to John Nicely, director of safety and security, BayCare began implementing these security measures last year and will continue rolling them out during the next few months.

BayCare is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. The system is not revealing which hospitals have metal detectors in place, but St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg started using them last week, according to Catalyst.

“Safety is a primary concern for BayCare. Nothing specifically has happened at our hospitals but we want to keep a safe and secure environment for our patients, physicians and anyone in our buildings,” Nicely said.

BayCare hospitals that have added metal detectors have them installed at all public entrances, including the emergency department and ambulance entrances.

“As people are coming in to the ED entrance and the ambulance entrance, we work with the clinicians on the acuity of the patient,” Nicely said. “The vast majority of patients coming to the ED go through screening right away but there are a portion having some serious issues, and we see that upfront. They directly bypass the screening and get connected to the clinical team for their care. We don’t at all stop anyone with a high acuity issue coming into the ED.”

Nicely said BayCare is using an outside national company to help with the screening process. The hospital system has also trained its own security officers to work with the outside company on the process.

A BayCare spokeswoman declined to say how much BayCare has spent on security measures but said the initiative is fully supported by senior management.

Security measures go further than metal detectors and badges, Nicely said.

“We’re working on workplace safety training a multitude of ways.  The metal screening is a piece of the puzzle, but a variety of other trainings that we are having for our teams incorporates that also,” Nicely said.

According to Nicely, overall feedback has been positive.

“The hospitals have always been focused on providing a safe and secure environment. That’s always been important in healthcare and at BayCare. But our values and what we’re trying to focus on in taking care of people — both the patient and everyone around —  have led us to add this mix,” Nicely said.

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    May/June 2019

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