Keeping the Campus Healthy
Baptist hospitals provide healing with strong security
- By Ben Scaglione
- May 01, 2014
With 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
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
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
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
“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
This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Security Today.