1 in 4 Hospitals Face Lock-down Challenges


Although hospitals should have the ability to lock all doors quickly so unauthorized individuals cannot gain access during a security incident, 7 percent of U.S. hospitals can’t lockdown at all, according to a study released today by Campus Safety magazine. Another 20 percent take more than 15 minutes to secure their entrances and exits.

The results of the survey, which appears in the July/August issue of Campus Safety Magazine, show that it takes an average of 11 minutes for respondent hospitals of all sizes to lockdown their facilities.

Not surprisingly, smaller hospitals – those with less than 200 beds –  have the best lockdown rate. Ninety-four percent take 15 minutes or less to secure their doors, while less than 2 percent say a lockdown isn’t possible at their campuses.

More than 10 percent of medical facilities with 200-400 beds are unable to lockdown. Hospitals with 401-600 beds, on average, take 13 minutes to lockdown, and more than 21 percent of these same campuses take 21-60 minutes to secure their entrances and exits. Only large hospitals and hospital systems (with 800 or more beds) have an average lockdown time that is longer: 14 minutes.

According to Robin Hattersley Gray, executive editor of Campus Safety magazine, these findings may come as a shock to members of the general public, as well as hospital administrators who are unfamiliar with the nuances of hospital security.

“There is a common misperception that healthcare campuses can lockdown with the simple push of a button,” she says. “Although some medical facilities do have this capability, our research shows there are many hospitals that really need to take a long, hard look at this issue. Fortunately, our study also indicates that hospitals are working to address their access control challenges.”

Gray is referring to the 63 percent of respondents who said their institutions have installed or will be installing access control or key management solutions in 2009. Fifty-three percent say they’ll install these solutions in 2010.

To view the complete survey results and analysis, as well as Web-exclusive material,
click here.

About Campus Safety Magazine: Campus Safety magazine exclusively serves police chiefs, security directors, IT personnel, executive administrators and other community stakeholders involved in the public safety and security of major U.S. hospitals, schools and universities. CS is a product of business-to-business publishing company Bobit Business Media. For more information, please visit Campus www.campussafetymagazine.com.

About the Survey: An online questionnaire was E-mailed to CS subscribers on May 21. The survey was also posted on Campus www.campussafetymagazine.com. during that same time period, and print subscribers were encouraged to take the survey online. Two hundred fifty nine respondents qualified for the survey and were used to compile the results (margin of error: +6.0% at a 95% confidence level). CS thanks all of the hospital security stakeholders who participated in this study.

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