Atrium Health

As the healthcare industry continues to increase its attention on security, Atrium Health is furthering its goal of ensuring the safety of each patient, teammate and visitor by implementing enhanced security measures across its system.

Most recently, Atrium Health Cabarrus began implementing enhanced security measures in its Emergency Department.

“Our goal is to fully deliver on our mission to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all,” said Phyllis Wingate, Atrium Health Cabarrus’ division president. “Part of that goal is ensuring that our facility is a safe space for our patients, teammates and visitors.”

Several changes in the emergency department will be visible to the public. Primary entry to the emergency department will continue through the first-floor main exterior entrance near Lake Concord Road, where visitors will now be required to check-in and receive name badges when visiting the emergency department. Metal detectors will also be installed. In addition, elevator access from the second floor to the emergency department lobby will be limited by security.

In 2017, Atrium Health established a multi-disciplinary Workplace Violence Committee, tasked with studying and making recommendations to enhance security processes and procedures at Atrium Health facilities.

“The objective driving this work is simple – to keep the people in our care, and the people providing that care, safe,” said Maureen Swick, senior vice president and system nurse executive and executive in charge of Atrium Health security operations. “Ensuring the safety and security of everyone who walks through our doors is a responsibility we take very seriously. We are continuously analyzing healthcare security trends and listening to feedback from our patients and teammates with the goal of making our facilities a leader in security and one of the safest places in our communities.”

Other system-wide changes include:

  • Reducing access points into Atrium Health facilities by 45 percent, providing greater control over who enters Atrium Health facilities.  
  • Training nearly 9,000 teammates in de-escalation techniques, personal safety and security-aware behaviors, and active assailant awareness.
  • Activating Everbridge, an emergency mass notification system, to give employees real-time emergency information on their smartphones – allowing them to quickly react and respond to emergent situations.

Atrium Health believes that by remaining committed to best-practices in security it can continue to cultivate an environment where patients and visitors are safe, and teammates are protected and able to focus on providing the very best care for the people in our community.

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