Highland installs new security measures

Published 9:31 pm Friday, November 10, 2006

Later this month, visitors and patients at Highland Community Hospital will be required to use the front entrance to gain entry to the hospital, instead of using the many entrances that people now use.

The hospital, formerly known as Crosby Memorial Hospital, is having installed a set of locks and cameras to improve security at the facility.

The new system will include an array of cameras, magnetic locks and key cards to provide the hospital with extra safety measures. The system will start with eight cameras to monitor the entrances and certain parts of the hospital. Additional cameras are slated to be added as the system grows because the system is set up to be expandable, said Ronald Rexford with Statewide Alarm System, the company doing the installation.

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Once the system is up and running, patients and visitors will be required to enter and leave through the lobby from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cleve Crenshaw, biomed technician at Highland, said the system will restrict access to the hospital when the system is up and running. By mid-month all entry to the hospital, except for medical emergencies, will be through the lobby.

“We will be ready to go online sometime this month after installation and adjustments are complete,” said Pam O’Flynn, director of Radiology, Cardiology and Safety for Highland Community Hospital.

O’Flynn said that in the case of medical emergencies, those patients still enter through the emergency room, day or night. If there are people who want to get into the hospital after hours, they will need to go to the emergency room entrance and be checked for clearance, Crenshaw said.

“If it’s an emergency, they will always go through the emergency room,” Crenshaw said.

“We don’t want people to think they won’t be able to get in to get help,” O’Flynn said.

As always security will be provided by the Picayune Police Department and cameras inside and outside the building will help ensure the safety of patients and employees during all hours, Crenshaw said. Employee access will be regulated with electronic card readers, he said.

Patients and visitors should know that if someone leaves through any doors other than the front doors then they will not be able to get back in unless they walk around to the front lobby, O’Flynn said.