Charlotte Hospitals Beef Up Security

Charlotte Hospitals Beef Up Security

Armed guards and metal detectors are chief among the new measures being taken to ensure the safety of patients.

The latest in a series of East Coast hospitals to reinforce their security, Atrium Health announced Wednesday that they will be increasing the number of armed guards and metal detectors at all of their locations in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Starting in September, visitors to any Atrium Health hospital will need to sign in and be assigned a name tag. In addition to a strict check-in system, metal detectors are being installed at the Behavioral Health facilities in Charlotte and Davidson, and the emergency department at the Carolinas Medical Center.

The Charlotte hospital network also announced that they will be reducing the number of access points to their hospitals by 45 percent, and training nearly 9,000 employees in de-escalation and active assailant awareness techniques. These employees will also be privy to a new mass notification system, with Atrium Health being able to push real-time security alerts to their cell phones.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported that healthcare workers were four times as likely to be involved in serious workplace violence, compared to the average for private industry. To this end, Atrium Health hopes to add enough armed security personnel to have one on every shift at all their locations.

“We are continuously analyzing healthcare security trends and listening to feedback from our patients and teammates with the goal of making our facilities a leader in security and one of the safest places in our communities," said Maureen Swick, senior vice president and executive in charge of Atrium Health security operations.

In recent months, many hospitals across New England and down the East Coast have increased security following highly-publicized incidents at hospitals across the country.

About the Author

Jordan Lutke is an intern with 1105 Media.

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