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Benefits of integrated security systems for hospitals and healthcare settings

Hospitals are home to large volumes of patients and healthcare workers, as well as confidential medical records and valuable equipment. For this reason, it’s essential to keep the property and people within protected, through a combination of security solutions.

What kind of security do hospitals need?

· Access Control Systems

Hospital facilities are usually large sites, often encompassing multiple buildings and surrounding areas, such as car parks. Generally, there are multiple access points and a high volume of traffic entering and exiting each building throughout the day. Different areas of a hospital have additional security needs, such as pharmacies, operating rooms, and maternity wards. These restricted areas may benefit from enhanced security measures, such as biometric technology, to use fingerprints or facial recognition and ensure that only authorised personnel are able to gain access.

With patients and visitors changing each day, most hospitals utilise intercom systems for public access to specific areas, such as wards. Integrating intercoms with an intelligent access control system allows security managers to see, hear and record all conversations and intervene if need be as well as allow permitted staff members to enter the premises swiftly through programmed proximity tokens or entering an authorised code.

· Video Surveillance Systems

In general terms, the most common security threats to which hospitals are exposed are vandalism, theft (by both employees and visitors), and violence/threatening behaviour against staff. With the NHS publishing a revised “Violence prevention and reduction standard” in 2021 to help safe-guard staff from abuse, aggression and violence, it is imperative that healthcare settings have video surveillance systems in place to both prevent criminal activity, as well as hold those who commit offences accountable, with recorded CCTV footage.

Remotely monitored IP surveillance systems allow entire sites to be monitored in real time. Security cameras keep an eye on entrances and exits, lifts and stairwells, as well as restricted areas, keeping track of daily activities and foot traffic among patients, staff, and visitors. Many medical centres use intelligent CCTV systems with smart features such as facial recognition, motion detection and people counting. Deep learning algorithms in these systems can instantly detect motion in restricted areas, un-recognised personnel, and even people who aren’t wearing face coverings. With the help of video analytics, in the event of any security breach, these intelligent systems send real-time alarms to a remote operator, so that action can be taken straight-away.

· Intruder Alarm Systems

Intruder alarm systems are also an asset to hospital settings. In addition to providing prevention against theft, alarm systems can be programmed in a way to inform the emergency services in the event of an alarm, to get immediate Police response. This is particularly beneficial when looking at panic alarm systems. As mentioned, violence against healthcare workers is a growing concern, with the number of incidents multiplying following the added stress of COVID-19. Due to this, an increasing number of establishments (not only in the healthcare sector) are opting for panic alarms, that can be strategically placed in high risk areas, to quietly notify security staff and even the Police (if a URN is in police) in the event of a hostile situation. Some alarm systems are compatible with wireless, individual panic alarm buttons, that can be discreetly clipped to uniforms or hung on lanyards, for increased personal safety.


Watch Systems Ltd install and maintain security systems at various sites in the medical sector around the West Midlands and are able to provide a free risk report and list of recommendations, tailored to your premises. For more information, contact us here.


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