Keeping the Campus Healthy

Keeping the Campus Healthy

Baptist hospitals provide healing with strong security

Keeping the campus healthyWith employees and physicians totaling more than 6,000, Baptist Health Care Network is the largest, non-governmental employer in northwest Florida. As the largest healthcare facility within this network, Baptist Hospital, in Pensacola, Fla., is a community-owned, not-for-profit healthcare organization committed to improving quality of life for people in the Florida panhandle areas.

Baptist Hospital is a 492-bed, tertiary care hospital with a full range of emergency, medical, surgical and obstetrical services. During recent years, the hospital has expanded its services on a medical campus that includes several buildings, a variety of medical specialty capabilities and critical care units including coronary, trauma, behavioral health, oncology and obstetrics.

Baptist continuously strives to be a national leader in quality and service; and in 2011, this facility celebrated 60 years of providing health and healing for northwest Florida and south Alabama. So, when Baptist Health Care network, specifically Baptist Hospital, was interested in reassessing and updating its safety and security programs and technology, it concluded that a new and total solutions approach was needed to best serve patients, hospital staff, physicians, guests and administration.

Updating Security and Safety

In 2010, Baptist Hospital administration decided it was time to update its safety, security and technology to reflect the advancements in its world-class medical care. In addition to the diverse needs at the hospital campus, the Baptist Health Care Network required safety and security operations at several other facilities including the Andrews Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Baptist Medical Park and Gulf Breeze Hospital.

“Just as the hospital has been advancing its healthcare services, it was now time for us to look for ways to grow and upgrade our security systems as well,” said Doug Lurton, Baptist Hospital director of clinical and support services. In March 2011, Baptist Hospital officials turned to G4S for its enterprise-level, total solutions services.

“Our first priority was establishing a partnership atmosphere and providing a security survey for Baptist Hospital administration,” said Patrick Dawson, G4S general manager, Pensacola. “First, we listened to Baptist Hospital about their challenges and then we initiated our analysis by identifying areas of concern and developing a total solution.”

Perhaps most important was the G4S project manager within the hospital, who became an in-house point of contact for Baptist Hospital officials. Having a security manager on-site created a true partnership atmosphere, solving any real time or future planning issues.

“G4S immediately helped us define our needs,” said Lurton. “They took the initiative to make the partnership a positive one and provided us with tools and information.”

After an initial site survey analysis, G4S identified technology and manpower needs along with updates on safety and security solutions for the Baptist Hospital, Gulf Breeze Hospital, Andrews Institute and Baptist Medical Park. At Baptist Hospital, some of the hospital’s medical units required specialized methodologies that needed to be incorporated into an overall safety and security program. For example, the main hospital building, with almost 50 access points, required new safety and security protocols.

Security officers in select areas. Along with focusing on traditional safety and security needs for patients, staff and visitors within the hospital campus, administrators also needed a security company that could perform parking patrols, escorts for staff, locked-box pharmaceutical transportation and patient watch assistance in its Behavioral Health Services unit.

G4S provided unarmed Upscale Security Officers who are specially trained in non-violent crisis intervention. This training helps officers understand the unique challenges in the mental health environment as well as the importance of TJC, HIPAA, National Patient Safety Goals and other standards. “It was only after some careful, initial analysis that G4S reported there was a predictable ebb and flow when patients were admitted to the behavioral health facility,” said Tim Byrd, Baptist Hospital security manager. “We adjusted schedules so we had more officers available during peak times.”

Other updates. With the help of G4S, Baptist Hospital upgraded its security technology and response methodology for the birthing center; updated its CCTV systems throughout the hospital; established a command center in the ER and adjusted the number of officers patrolling during critical times for patients and medical staff.

“As the partnership with G4S continues, Baptist Hospital safety and security issues have been handled efficiently and appropriately,” Byrd said. “The hospital now has a well-planned, comprehensive security program with approximately 25 armed and unarmed G4S officers, and appropriate technology upgrades that will streamline our efforts.”

The Results and Added Value

Today, Baptist Hospital safety and security programs provided by G4S are a holistic approach that the patients, staff and visitors trust and rely on. The management of security personnel has provided a cost-effective solution for the hospital. Since beginning its partnership with G4S, Baptist Hospital has saved more than $100,000 per year on staff costs alone. In addition, the G4S security teams are well trained and provide a professional image equal to the high level of care wellknown throughout the entire Baptist Health Care Network.

“The G4S CPO works with a level of professionalism that matches the professionalism of our staff and medical teams at our hospital,” said Lurton. “We have a common set of core values, which emphasizes the importance of quality in patient care.” The relationship is translating into a continued, high-level hospital experience, as G4S is involved in solving challenges, creating a responsive atmosphere and participating in security and safety planning.

“By looking at security holistically within the hospital environment, we are continuing to provide a better overall experience for our patients, visitors, medical staff and hospital employees,” said Lurton.

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Security Today.

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