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  • Writer's pictureDrew Neckar

Benchmarking Healthcare System Security Department Staffing, Training, and Weapons Usage

Recently I have received multiple questions around benchmarking different elements of healthcare security programs. As anyone involved in the healthcare security industry knows this type of benchmarking can be extremely difficult as all healthcare organizations tend to define "security" very differently, making apples to apples comparison challenging. In fact a 2013-2015 workgroup I was involved in through the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety and the Security Executive Council that had been tasked with establishing benchmarking metrics that could be used across all healthcare organizations was unable to overcome these challenges and disbanded without producing anything.

While true apples to apples comparison may not be strictly possible I had obtained data from two separate studies conducted on behalf of clients in late 2019 and early 2020 that provided glimpses at some metrics that may assist organizations in benchmarking portions of their programs. This data related to Security department composition, staffing levels, training, and prevalence of defensive tools. While this data is limited to US based healthcare systems I felt that it may have relevance to a number of people so undertook publication of a whitepaper delineating my findings in these studies. The whitepaper touches on:

  • Department composition with percentages of Security Department FTE assigned to different job roles within the department

  • Span of control for security management and supervisory personnel

  • Benchmarking of total Security Department and uniformed Security Officer FTE as compared to total organizational employees and to licensed inpatient beds

  • Prevalence of issuance of defensive tools and weapons including handcuffs, TASERs, OC spray, batons, and firearms.

  • Several elements of basic new hire training for healthcare Security Officers

  • Annual training for Security Officers

  • Initial and annual training for proficiency with issued defensive tools and weapons.

As a service to our healthcare security colleagues we are making copies of this whitepaper freely available in the Resource Library on our website:

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