The Clery Vision
Impact on hospitals and other healthcare settings
- By Dolores A. Stafford
- Mar 01, 2017
Security directors in hospitals and other healthcare
settings need to understand pertinent aspects of the
Clery Act, and how to partner with colleges and universities
to establish, maintain or enhance compliance
with this federal law. Although the law does not apply
directly to privately owned healthcare facilities, security directors in
these settings can play an integral role in helping ensure an affiliated
higher education institution is complying with the requirements of
the Clery Act. By working together on Clery compliance initiatives,
institutions and affiliated healthcare facilities can promote safety of
students, employees, patients and visitors within these settings.
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and
Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act1) is a landmark federal
campus safety law that applies to any U.S. institution of higher education
that participates in any of the federal financial assistance programs
authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA).
Among other mandates, the law requires institutions to develop,
publish and disseminate an Annual Security Report (ASR) that contains
certain crime statistics and statements of policy across a wide
spectrum of safety and security-related topics. The intent of the law
is to provide current and prospective students and employees with
relevant information that will help them to make informed decisions
regarding their safety and security at the institution.
Clery Geography: Own, Lease or Use
One of the perennial challenges facing institutions of higher education
with affiliated healthcare facilities is how these facilities fit into
the institution’s overall “Clery Geography,” which refers to the location
categories defined by the law, to include On Campus, Noncampus
and Public Property locations. For example, does the college or
university own or lease healthcare facilities? Does the institution use
space within privately owned healthcare facilities, with or without a
formal written agreement, memorializing use of space? Any of these
arrangements create potential Clery Act reporting requirements that
must be further evaluated from a Clery Geography perspective.
Understanding how the physical parameters of crime reporting
apply to healthcare facilities affiliated with a college or university is
of critical importance. A college or university cannot accurately disclose
crime statistics by location (a requirement of the Clery Act) if
it has not conducted a comprehensive evaluation of its real estate
holdings from a Clery Geography perspective. This is especially true
for healthcare facilities given the various models that are in place.
For example, a college or university may own a hospital that is located
within its campus boundaries. In such instances, the hospital is
treated no differently than other on-campus locations—from a Clery
Act perspective—when it is owned or controlled by the institution
and is used in direct support of, or in a manner related to, educational
or institutional purposes.
However, other institutions may own or control a hospital that
is not “reasonably contiguous” to the main campus. Such arrangements
require an assessment to determine if the hospital meets the
non-campus or separate campus definitions established by the Act.
The 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting
provides new guidance to institutions of higher education regarding
the circumstances in which a hospital or medical center is being “controlled’
by the institution, even without a written agreement establishing such control for Clery Act purposes. These factors include:
- Whether the facility has overlapping faculty/doctors.
- Whether the facility has overlapping boards of directors or officers.
- Use of the hospital or medical center as part of the institution’s
- Geographic proximity.
- An ongoing relationship between the institution and the hospital.
- Whether students consider the hospital or medical center to be
part of the campus.
Institutions will need to consider these factors when determining
whether hospitals or other medical centers (or spaces contained therein)
are “controlled” by the institution and, therefore, Clery-reportable.
Campus Security Authorities
Regardless of the applicable Clery Geography category into which an
affiliated healthcare facility may fit, there are some important considerations
that institutions owning or controlling these facilities must
address. First, the institution will need to identify what the Clery Act
calls Campus Security Authorities (CSAs), who are associated with
the facility regardless of whether those individuals are employed by
the institution or the healthcare facility. Minimally, CSAs include,
but are not limited to, the campus police/public safety personnel that
provide safety and security services in the healthcare setting, regardless
of whether these individuals are:
- Part of the institution’s campus police or public safety department
that provides such services for the rest of the college/university.
- An entity unto themselves (such as a police or security force that
provides security and patrol services exclusively to a hospital affiliated
with an institution), or;
- Are contract security officers that provide supplemental security
services to healthcare facilities.
CSAs also include any official of the institution that has significant
responsibility for student and campus activities, or persons that
do not work for the campus police/public safety department but who
provide security-related services, such as monitoring access to a college
or university owned or controlled facility or parking lot.
Any person meeting the definition of a CSA needs to be notified
of this designation and trained in their responsibilities, which primarily
include documenting and promptly forwarding reports of Clery Act crimes brought to their attention to the reporting structure of the
college or university. This is important because institutions of higher
education are required to collect crime reports from all CSAs at least
annually, including from CSAs that may be employed by an affiliated
hospital or medical facility.
The Daily Crime Log
An additional matter raised by healthcare settings with their own security
departments pertains to the daily crime log. All institutions
subject to the Clery Act that have a campus police or security department
must create, maintain and make available a daily crime log,
which is intended to capture all crimes reported to the department,
not just those Clery Act crimes.
The scope of the log is limited to those crimes reported to the
security department that occurred On Campus, on Public Property
affiliated with the campus, in or on non-campus buildings and property,
or within the security department’s expanded patrol jurisdiction,
if one exists. Typically, the institution’s campus police or public safety
department is responsible for managing the log for the main campus.
However, if there is a hospital or other affiliated healthcare facility
that is part of the main campus, and the facility has its own security
department that is independent of the campus police or public
safety department, then the institution should implement a system
to ensure that crimes reported to healthcare security are added to
the log by the institution’s campus police or public safety department
within two business days of the healthcare security department learning
about a crime.
Given the presence of a stand-alone security department on the
main campus, it is recommended that a copy of the Log be available
at the main campus police or public safety department, as well as the
healthcare facility’s security department office. This will ensure the
daily crime log is accessible on site, as required by law, regardless of
whether the healthcare facility is part of the institution’s main campus
or is considered under the Clery Act to be a separate campus.
Toward an Integrated Approach
Healthcare facilities that are affiliated with an institution of higher
education or are allowing an institution to use space within their facilities
play a valuable role in evaluating a campus’s Clery compliance
program in light of the specific compliance considerations presented
by these types of arrangements. While some of the more foundational
issues have been reviewed, it would serve institutions well, given
the current compliance environment, to consider a myriad of other
ways in which compliance with the Clery Act can be nuanced for its
affiliated healthcare facilities, regardless of whether those facilities
are owned or operated by the college or university. A proactive, collaborative
review of pertinent policies, procedures and practices pertaining
to these facilities can help stave off noncompliance findings in
the event of a Department of Education audit.
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Security Today.