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How safe is your healthcare facility?

In addition to proper treatment of illnesses and care, protection is important for a healthcare facility. Create a safe environment for patients, visitors and your staff with the right security measures.

Healthcare facilities are, for example, hospitals, preventive or rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, inpatient care facilities, medical practices and outpatient centres, dental practices, physiotherapists' practices and psychological psychotherapists' practices. The following eight points will help you to determine how your healthcare facility is performing in terms of safety and how it could be optimized.

1. Place the right people in the right places

If you work with an access control system, you have a better overview. You can ensure that unauthorized persons do not enter areas of your healthcare facility where they have no business being. This applies to visitors and patients as well as employees. If an access card disappears or is lost, you can simply block it. What's more, you don't have to change all the locks, which is the case with a conventional key system. It is also an advantage that your healthcare staff can identify themselves with the access cards.

2. Intruder alarm systems are of great benefit

Even if you work in a healthcare facility that is never closed and where carers are constantly present, a connected intruder alarm system can be beneficial. In this way, the facility can be protected. Thieves who are after medication rarely take into account whether staff are present or not. In these cases, a connected burglar alarm system is a good investment. This informs them of a possible break-in. In addition, Protectas staff can be provided to avert the situation.

3. Install surveillance cameras for the most important areas

Create security and collect evidence with the help of video surveillance. Cameras are very effective when it comes to preventing potential criminal activity. They also provide you with evidence the day an accident or crime has occurred in your healthcare facility. Just remember that you must obtain permission to film in a public place and that the purpose must outweigh the interest in privacy. This may be the case, for example, if violent situations have repeatedly occurred in a part of your healthcare facility.

With the help of connected surveillance cameras, we at Protectas can gain an overview in the event of an alarm. This allows us to quickly assess whether we need to send security personnel, the police or fire brigade to the scene.

4. Create clear guidelines in the event of an evacuation

An evacuation concept is important. In Switzerland, there are legal requirements for the safety management of companies. The requirements include evacuation and are set out in the fire protection directive BSR 12-15. Protection of employees, customers, visitors and patients - an evacuation concept helps to safely evacuate and protect people in the event of an emergency. With the help of evacuation leader training, you have selected personnel to take on additional responsibility. This ensures that everyone arrives at the assembly point or that people are directed to the nearest fire door.

5. Be prepared for the worst, hope for the best

Unlike other industries, it is difficult to know which people will be present in the event of a fire, as new patients and visitors are constantly coming and going. It is important that you and your staff are prepared in the event of an accident or fire in your healthcare facility. Among other things, you and your staff should know how fire extinguishers work and what type of extinguisher should be used for different types of firefighting. Be it fire safety, evacuation ladder training or acquiring practical and theoretical knowledge regarding fire extinguishers, we at Protectas are happy to help you get the right training.

6. Provide clear information

With different people in your healthcare facility every day, it is important that information is easy to find and absorb. This applies to arrows on the floor indicating escape routes and evacuation plans that can be found at every entrance and are constantly updated. Clearly visible signs on walls and ceilings showing where the emergency exits are located are also part of this. In this way, both visitors and employees know how to leave the building in the event of an escape. Protectas can help you to find the right location for the signs.

7. Check the best-before date of your fire extinguishers

In Switzerland, prescribed fire extinguishers must comply with the SN EN3 standard and be recognised by the Association of Cantonal Fire Insurers (VKF). In hospitals and care homes of all kinds, the obligation to use fire extinguishers depends, among other things, on the use, size and number of people present. Where fire extinguishers are mandatory, the maximum walking distance to a portable fire extinguisher or wet extinguishing post is 40 metres. Signs should clearly indicate where these are located.

But don't think that a fire extinguisher is something you can buy and it will last forever. Every fire extinguisher must be checked to ensure that there is still sufficient pressure and that the contents are still usable. The inspection intervals for fire extinguishers in Switzerland are not directly prescribed by law. However, the VKF stipulates a test interval according to the manufacturer. We at Protectas will be happy to check your fire extinguishers and ensure that they are still usable. This ensures that your equipment is up to date.

8. Invest for the long term

Regular safety inspections are also important. This is a legally regulated inspection of medical equipment such as care tubs, patient lifts and disinfection devices. The inspection is a measure to identify any defects and assess the safety-related condition of the equipment. Only qualified persons are authorised to carry out these inspections.

Safety measures may seem expensive and time-consuming but consider how high the price can be if an incident should occur. Therefore, make sure that you and your patients and visitors are protected from external threats. Keep this list and review it from time to time. Security needs and requirements change over time. This means that your security work never ends - it needs to be ongoing.

A security partner you can trust

In conclusion, Protectas is a security partner with extensive knowledge of how to best protect your healthcare organisation with small and large-scale resources. We also have a lot of experience in supporting healthcare organisations with security solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. We can therefore guarantee that your organisation receives the best possible protection.

If you would like expert advice, please contact us!

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