As healthcare security leaders endeavor to ensure the safety of employees, patients and their visitors, tightened surveillance and access is a growing trend, and the need has been met with the integration of new technology, including advanced security cameras, biometrics and fingerprint readers.

According to an International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) release, the primary driver of “hospital management angst” is compliance with regulations from the Joint Commission and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As lower-tech methods of identification become insufficient, cameras, biometrics and fingerprint readers come into play.

IAHSS President Lisa Pryse, CHPA, CPP, said that more video surveillance is good for facility safety, especially where human surveillance is difficult to achieve, such as loading docks where hazardous materials are most accessible.

According to the 2013 Hospital Vendor and Visitor Access Control Survey, more than 500 organizations have a vendor management system to screen, badge and track every vendor. According to Pryse, these systems, while de rigueur in other verticals, are just now becoming standard in healthcare because healthcare enterprises’ systems are just beginning to go online.

“With robust computerized data systems and identification technology at their fingertips, safety managers grow more capable when facing emergencies,” the IAHSS release says.