By Connor Beach
Huntington Hospital recently added new security measures to prevent visitors or guests from entering the hospital without first receiving an identification badge.
As of last week, employees and visitors are required to scan badges in order to pass through security turnstiles that allow access into the hospital. Visitors can receive a temporary identification badge from the information desk at the main entrance, which is then used to open the turnstiles.
Dr. Gerard Brogan Jr., executive director of the hospital, said the visitor pass system and new security turnstiles make it easier to identify people in the hospital.
Visitors have been required to show identification and receive a visitor pass for “about a year now,” Brogan said, and the turnstiles are a way to increase the effectiveness of that system.
“It’s meant to identify who is in the building, and what they are in the building for,” Brogan said. “Now you can’t get into the building without a visitor pass because the pass activates the turnstiles.”
Similar security measures have already been or are being implemented in other hospitals within the Northwell Health system.
The new turnstiles are just another example of how safety in hospitals continues to evolve.
“Safety traditionally is thought about as procedures done correctly and avoiding hospital acquired infections,” Brogan said.
In recent years, Brogan said that providing a safe environment for patients and staff has “taken on additional dimensions that have to do with security in the more traditional sense in the non-medical world.”
Brogan classified the new security measures as “preemptive,” saying that although Huntington Hospital has not had any major security related incidents, the hospital is continuously assessing security needs.
“From seeing events in the news, we wanted to be sure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent something from happening as opposed to reacting to it,” Brogan said.
With the exception of added surveillance, lighting and signage both inside and outside the hospital, Brogan said there are no “major security steps” planned for Huntington Hospital “at this point in time.”