Bullet Resistant Architecture in Hospitals

29 October 2019
Category blog
29 October 2019, Comments 0

Hospitals and hospital workers need all the support they can get when it comes to safety. As security and safety become key priorities for hospitals across the nation, many are turning to bullet resistant architecture. 

In making architectural decisions when redesigning, renovating, adding on, or building a hospital, it’s always important to plan for the worst-case scenario. The last thing hospital administrators want is to have something happen that they weren’t prepared for.

By designing hospitals with bullet resistance in mind, patients and staff can constantly feel as safe and secure as possible.

Healthcare Worker Safety Concerns and Dangers

Healthcare employees are physically assaulted more often than prison guards and police officers according to The International Council of Nurses. This makes working in the healthcare industry one of the most hazardous occupations in America. In 2015, around 75 percent of assaults in the workplace occurred in the healthcare industry and in healthcare facilities.

Maintaining a safe space for patients, visitors and staff is an essential function of healthcare facilities. With such a high chance of potential workplace violence, hospitals must begin taking steps toward safety and security. One of those ways is by incorporating bullet resistance throughout hospitals.

Complicated Security Issues

Security issues in hospitals are anything but simple. When considering how security measures impact family members, friends, patients, and staff, designing protocols for medical centers is a tall task. However, there are steps hospital administrators and architects can take in the design phase to mitigate potential security risks from the start. 

For example, incorporating bullet resistant windows throughout the medical center (both interior and exterior windows) before a single patient is admitted mitigates some security threats before protocols need to be implemented.

Patients and Staff

Hospital patients and staff are the first priority when considering safety. Even if a hospital already has security measures like bullet resistant architecture in place, some medical facilities do not do a good enough job of letting their patients and staff know. 

By touting bullet resistant materials throughout the hospital in a variety of different ways, patients and staff can feel more secure from the moment they walk in the doors.

Barrier Designs

Barrier systems can have a significant impact on overall hospital safety. By enclosing spaces and controlling who comes in and goes out, hospitals and other medical facilities can mitigate risk factors associated with completely open spaces.

The Emergency Nurses Association’s Emergency Department Violence Surveillance Study found that “the presence of an enclosed nurses’ station” correlated to significant reductions in verbal assault against staff.” While verbal assault is not the only thing barriers and enclosed stations can assist with, they are one of the most common forms of assault in hospitals.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that hospitals and medical centers use bullet resistant barriers for reception areas and especially where monetary transactions take place.

Bullet Resistant Service, Exchange and Pass Thru Windows

In situations where money, prescriptions, or documents are being exchanged between hospital staff and patients/family, it’s essential to consider bullet resistant glass. Customer service is a pivotal part of hospital operations, but it’s also important to make sure staff is safe and secure behind bullet resistant glass during transactions.

When money is involved, aggression and potential workplace violence can come to a head, and hospital staff must be protected. By making architectural choices like including bullet resistant service, exchange, or pass thru windows early, hospital administrators help protect their employees from the beginning.

Doors and Infrastructure

Many hospitals are beginning to add additional security measures in bullet resistant doors and infrastructure. In addition to restricting access via electronic entry and multiple doors, bullet resistant doors provide an extra level of security. Should workplace violence occur, this gives patients and staff the ability to feel safe and secure behind both windows and doors.

Creative Industries can manufacture the bullet-proof and bullet resistant windows and architecture required by your plans for a hospital or medical services building; we have nearly 50 years of experience creating and installing custom bulletproof windows and products for industries that include banks, convenience stores, government buildings, hospitals, and schools.

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