The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) is a professional organization that educates, certifies, and serves its members and the healthcare profession with exclusive resources and benefits. IAHSS members include individuals in healthcare security, law enforcement, safety and emergency management leaders. IAHSS offers multiple levels of certifications, including the prestigious Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator (CHPA) certification.
The California State Threat Assessment System is an all hazards Information Sharing partnership of Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies throughout California. The System connects Suspicious Activity Reporting and incidents that may have a possible Terrorism or Homeland Security nexus with law enforcement statewide through a network of interconnected Regional Threat Assessment Centers (RTACs) in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento.
These Regional Centers are directly connected to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and provide regional analysis and assessment of events, including patterns and trends, to deter, detect and prevent terrorism in California. Additionally, the State Threat Assessment Center (STAC), also in Sacramento, is a partnership of the California Highway Patrol and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, whose focus is statewide analysis of incidents, trends and patterns to help identify larger threats and protect key and critical infrastructure.
Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) programs such as “If You See Something, Say Something” are active across the country and help communities deter crime, violent incidents, and in some cases prevent terrorism. The idea is simple, but for first responders/receivers there are particular activities to look for depending on your sector.
This training module can easily be added to any in-house training for new employees or yearly refresher training for established personnel. The new training module joins others disciplines such as public safety telecommunications, fire/EMS, emergency management, maritime, and more. Those completing the training successfully can print a certificate.
All hospitals should know what suspicious activity is and how it should be reported. All hospitals should also know which threat assessment center they fall under and maintain contact information.
The law requires all licensed general acute-care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals and specialty hospitals to conduct a security and safety assessment at least annually. The law also requires hospitals to use the assessment to develop a security plan with measures to protect personnel, patients and visitors from aggressive or violent behavior. The security and safety assessment must examine trends of aggressive or violent behavior at the facility. Hospitals must track incidents of aggressive or violent behavior as part of the quality assessment and improvement program, and for the purposes of developing a security plan to deter and manage further aggressive or violent acts of a similar nature. The plan may include, but must not be limited to, security considerations relating to all of the following:
Security personnel availability
Policy and training related to appropriate responses to violent acts
Efforts to cooperate with local law enforcement regarding violent acts in the facility
In developing this plan, hospitals are required to consider guidelines or standards on violence in health care facilities issued by the California Department of Public Health, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As part of the security plan, hospitals are required to adopt security policies including, but not limited to, personnel training policies designed to protect personnel, patients and visitors from aggressive or violent behavior. In developing the plan and assessment, hospitals are required to consult with affected employees, including the recognized collective bargaining agent or agents, if any, and members of the hospital medical staff. This consultation may occur through hospital committees. The hospital committee responsible for developing the security plan is required to be familiar with all of the following:
Role of security in hospital operations.
Protective measures, including alarms and access control.
Handling of disturbed patients, visitors and employees.
Identification of aggressive and violent predicting factors.
Hospital safety and emergency preparedness.
Rudiments of documenting and reporting crimes, including, by way of example, not disturbing a crime scene.
Hospitals are required to have sufficient personnel to provide security pursuant to the security plan developed. Persons regularly assigned to provide security in a hospital setting are required to be trained regarding the role of security in hospital operations, including the identification of aggressive and violent predicting factors and management of violent disturbances.
Any act of assault, which results in injury or involves the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, against any on-duty hospital personnel are required to be reported to the local law enforcement agency within 72 hours of the incident (defined in Section 240 of the Penal Code, or battery, as defined in Section 242 of the Penal Code). Any other act of assault, against any on-duty hospital personnel, may be reported to the local law enforcement agency within 72 hours of the incident. No health facility or employee of a health facility who reports a known or suspected instance of assault or battery pursuant to this section shall be civilly or criminally liable for any report required by this section (as defined in Section 240 of the Penal Code, or battery, as defined in Section 242 of the Penal Code). Any individual knowingly interfering with or obstructing the lawful reporting process may be guilty of a misdemeanor.
All hospital employees, as well as other health care workers such as physicians and nurse practitioners, regularly assigned to the emergency department are required to receive education as provided for in the security plan developed relating to the following topics:
General safety measures.
Personal safety measures.
Aggression and violence predicting factors.
Obtaining patient history from a patient with violent behavior.
Characteristics of aggressive and violent patients and victims.
Verbal and physical maneuvers to diffuse and avoid violent behavior.
Strategies to avoid physical harm.
Appropriate use of medications as chemical restraints.
Any resources available to employees for coping with incidents of violence, including, by way of example, critical incident stress debriefing or employee assistance programs.
Temporary personnel are also required to be oriented to the security plan.
Hospitals are encouraged to review Health and Safety Code Sections 1257.7 and 1257.8 to ensure compliance with this mandate.
This Information Bulletin contains information gained from federal, state and local public safety sources with expertise in explosives and response to explosives incidents. As with any public safety issue, local agencies must determine local policies and procedures. Note that a subsequent Information Bulletin will be issued, to include information for use when responding to a suspected bomber, if the call is received prior to an actual detonation.
NH-ISAC is nationally recognized as part of the nation’s healthcare and public health critical infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Health Sector Coordinating Council, the National Council of ISACs, and the organizations that form the health sector.
With a mission to enable, foster and preserve the public trust by advancing the physical and cyber security protection of the nation’s healthcare and public health critical infrastructure from threats and vulnerabilities, NH-ISAC is the health sector’s coordination and communications channel supporting national healthcare and public health cybersecurity Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery.
The Healthcare and Public Health Sector Critical Infrastructure Protection Program, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response, leads a unique public and private sector partnership in protecting the essential goods, services, and functions of healthcare and public health that, if destroyed or compromised, would negatively affect the Nation. The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) provides the framework for the healthcare and public health sector protection, as well as 17 other designated critical infrastructure sectors mandated by the Homeland Security Presidential Directive -7.
What they do:
Implement the NIPP sector partnership and risk management framework
Develop protective programs to protective actions to defend against, prepare for, and mitigate the consequences of a terrorist attack or other hazards
Provide guidance on sector critical infrastructure protection in line with NIPP
Measure the sector’s performance toward sector protection priorities
Encourage information sharing among all sector partners
Submit an annual sector plan and an annual sector report.