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Pop-Up Hospitals Are Here to Stay, and so Are Their Unique Security Vulnerabilities

 

Temporary hospitals have popped up across the U.S. to address patient overflow in medical facilities due to the now two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these medical units include hotels, parks, and gymnasiums, to name a few. While these temporary locations have increased the capacity to treat patients, they pose a unique array of security challenges. The implementation and innovative application of security technology solutions can be utilized in these settings to ensure compliance and that these atypical security needs are met.

Pop-Up Medical Units Have Unique Security Needs

Temporary medical units pose various security vulnerabilities due to their rapid assembly and lack of medical-specific infrastructure. Traditional hospital security systems consist of higher-end components continually being monitored, maintained, and upgraded to meet industry standards. Temporary medical units, however, lack the infrastructure and professional attention during times of crisis. When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, deploying access control to restricted areas, monitoring the coming and going of patients, medical personnel, and equipment,  and establishing secure perimeters are just some of the challenges faced in these settings. 

Motion Detection and Video Surveillance

Basic solutions to address some of these challenges include security technology such as video surveillance or motion detection systems, all implemented for monitoring and access control purposes. If a strong unit perimeter is established, these tools can work to identify intruders or unauthorized personnel. Intrusion detection systems comprised of video surveillance and motion sensors can be deployed at various access points around the mobile facility.  

Remote Video as a COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy 

Imagine an isolated area designated for patients to quarantine. If unauthorized or non-healthcare personnel comes within the area or with its occupants, they are at risk of exposure. In this instance, the application of analytics-enabled cameras on a fixed position AI unit would serve as a strategy to mitigate the spread of illness. When properly calibrated, these intelligent systems can elicit warnings such as flashing lights and a broadcasted message informing anyone in the area of detection they were in a restricted area and should immediately leave the area. Intelligent video surveillance can also allow you to gauge if individuals are complying with PPE guidelines should they need to enter these restricted areas.

Voice-Down Services

Many video surveillance systems, particularly could-based solutions, are equipped with one or two-way audio capabilities that can verbally notify individuals to leave a restricted area before they are potentially exposed to a virus. These systems can stop incidents of dangerous contact before they happen.

Social Distancing/People Counting

Another application of video surveillance with motion detection capabilities can help monitor and enforce social distancing policies implemented within the hospital setting. Social distancing limits the maximum number of individuals allowed in an area or facility at a time. A surveillance system calibrated with motion-based alerts can notify hospital security or medical staff when individuals are detected in-frame, so they can quickly assess the scene and ensure social distancing protocols are being followed.

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