Health Care System Continues to Enhance Visitor Safety

Contact: Karen Gainey, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 910-291-7550 FAX: 910-291-7996

September 14, 2010

As we are reminded on a daily basis, violence can occur anywhere in our society. To this effect, security precautions at Scotland Memorial Hospital and other health care facilities of the system have been revised in order to attempt to provide a safer environment for our patients and staff.

One of the most visible changes the public has seen is our revised Emergency Center visitation policy. Our revised policy limits maximum number of visitors to two at one time and includes a process for identifying visitors before they are admitted to the treatment area. There are also periods that visitation may be further limited to protect patients and staff during special circumstances.

Scotland Memorial is purchasing a new visitor identification system for use in the Emergency Center. Currently, incoming Emergency Center patients provide the names of their expected visitors at registration. Those visitors whose names are provided wear a wristband when they are escorted to the patient's room. "However," says Ryan Mackey, Emergency Center Director, "coming soon to the EC waiting room is a new visitor identification badge system. Upon entering the waiting room visitors will present their picture identification. The system then generates a visitor identification badge worn. The badge includes the visitor's picture and the date of the visit."

Additional video surveillance coverage has been added in the Emergency Center, other key areas of the facility, and at the Edwin Morgan Center. Video surveillance has been a great investigative tool, helping to solve a number of crimes.

The hospital has also increased the number of security officers on duty to provide better response times and more coverage of Scotland Memorial Hospital facilities.

Additionally, the hospital's security officers have been trained in the use of the X26 TASER and will wear it while on duty. Each security officer must meet a number of criteria before being issued the TASER, including mandatory training under a TASER-certified instructor. Even though the hospital's security officers are not sworn law enforcement officers, they undergo the same end-user TASER training required of law enforcement officers. Officers are familiar with the legal issues concerning the deployment of the TASER and the appropriate use of the TASER within Scotland Memorial Hospital's use of force policy.

For additional information regarding safety issues at Scotland Health Care System, contact Dave Salzlein at 910-291-7922.

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