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Doctors Hospital Beefs Up Security- Imposes Visitor Restrictions

Doctors Hospital is pioneering a new security system that officials believe will help allay any fears or concerns about patient and visitor security in light of recent criminal events at another healthcare facility.

The new visitation policy, which will change public access to the private health care facility, is aimed at providing not only quality healthcare but an environment that is safe for its patients.

Doctors Hospital CEO Charles Sealy told the Bahama Journal that the new security measures are also in an effort to secure accreditation from the Joint Commission – an international healthcare regulatory body.

“Over the last 10 years we’ve implemented a number of things, including closed circuit television (CCTV) and we’ve also boosted our security department. But this new visitor policy also marks another step in our journey to increase not only patient safety but also those coming to visit our patients as well as our staff,” Mr. Sealy said while addressing members of the media at the hospital on Shirley Street and Collins Avenue.

And as of June 18 visitors will have to check in at a new welcome desk, which will redirect traffic.

Mr. Sealy said visitors will no longer be allowed to simply walk in without restriction.

Anyone who is interested in visiting a patient will now have to actually stop at the desk, present valid photo identification and then be given a visitors badge. This, Mr. Sealy said, will deal with a number of other issues hospital workers face.

“A part of the whole quality care continuum is that we reduce noise level in the floors as well. And so from time to time we have patients who have a whole lot of family and friends who want to come and visit them and it sometimes interrupts the flow of care either for themselves or for other patients,” he said.

And once the new security detail takes effect, he said visitors will only be allowed to see patients in pairs.

“Some of this security work is going to be challenging because we won’t be able to authenticate all of the photo IDs presented to us. But, what we will seek to do is take as much details from the IDs as possible,” he said.

“We also have the CCTV system and we will take a photo of any individual from the moment they enter the compound and as they move through the facility. We will also have documented information that would be here at the security desk so we would have some form of information that could assist us or the police if they have to continue with an inquiry.”

Some might wonder whether Doctors Hospitals new security format is being introduced as a result of that recent shooting at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) where a police officer was disarmed, attacked and then shot by a detainee who was about to receive medical attention.

While this might seem like reason enough, Mr. Sealy insists this security strategy has been in the works for some time now.

“We have been putting all the policies together. We’ve sought to actually introduce at least two weeks of education for the community before we actually implement it,” he said.

He admits, though, that the hospital has faced its own share of security risks with domestic disputes and other similar incidents.

But for the most part, Mr. Sealy said the hospital has not had any major incidents.

“From time-to-time, I must say the police have assisted us when we have had issues. We would love to have 24-hour police support, but we do understand that there is a strain on their resources and so we do a number of things internally,” he said.

“But police presence is something we believe will be beneficial. From time to time we have prisoners who come here for different levels of care as well. But the potential threat is always there because you don’t know who can walk through the doors.”

The hospital has nine properties and its 20 plus member security team maps each campus 24-hours a day.

Hospital officials said their team is trained in international healthcare security services.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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