Starting a Hospital Security Risk Assessment

How to make sure your Security Department is Working for the Hospital.

Security Risk Assessment are not just Required by the Joint Commission – they are required in many states as a preventive measure to help prevent and reduce workplace violence.

The Risk Assessment also helps managers and administrators assess their security program, directly measure it’s effectiveness and helps determine
cost effective methods that can give you a great deal of protection for the lowest possible cost — something we call “bang for the buck”. 

The recent increase in violence comes as a surprise to doctors, nurses, managers and administrators, too.  Violence is not a concept that people usually associate with hospitals.  For years, hospitals have been seen as almost a sanctuary of care for the sick and wounded in our society.   However, the perception of hospitals has been changing over the last fifteen years due to a variety of factors.

 1.  Doctors are no longer thought of as “Gods”.  This means they are
      are more easily blamed when a patient’s condition deteriorates.

 2.  Hospitals are now regarded as businesses.  This perception has been
       been aggravated by television in shows like a recent “60 Minutes”, as well as
       by the effects of the recession on jobs and the loss of health insurance.

3.  Lack of respect and resources (funding) for hospital security departments
.  Rather than being seen as a crucial protection for the hospital staff and
      patients, many security departments are chronically underfunded and used
      for a variety of non- security functions, such as making bank deposits for
      the hospital gift shop, driving the education van, etc.

The federal government  issued a guidance document for dealing with violence issues in healthcare,  called OSHA 3148.01R, 2004, Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers.  You can download a copy at