They’re often the first people patients and families see and the last to say goodbye. They help patients and families through their worst moments or times of joy. Their job is one of the hardest: keeping patients, families and staff safe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Now UMHHC Security and Entrance Services is the recipient of C.S. Mott’s 2012 Evan Newport HOPE Award as the year’s outstanding program or service that best exemplifies what patient and family-centered care is all about.
“Winning this award acknowledges that Security and Entrance Services staff are successfully achieving their long-standing, ongoing mission to be irreplaceable partners in the healthcare team,” says Director, UMHHC Security and Entrance Services, Marilyn Hollier, CPP, CHPA.
Security work, because of its very nature, is full of nuance—and the need for flexibility. Particularly so for security operations that take place within a healthcare environment.
Because Security Operations, for instance, recognizes the difference between working as a security officer in an adult hospital versus one working in a children’s and women’s hospital, it has identified a core of 15 officers with a lead officer who are assigned to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.
In addition, due to the nature of their jobs, Security has representatives on the Decedent Affairs Bereavement Committees (both adult and pediatric) and the Diversity at End of Life Committee. The diversity committee was actually formed after Security noticed a difficulty on the part of clinical staff when faced with the grieving behaviors of diverse cultures.
“Our department recognized that education was required not only on the diversity issue but the resources that were available to staff upon the imminent or sudden death of a patient,” says Hollier.
When the new C&W Hospital opened, one of Security’s biggest culture changes was establishing an employee entrance and reserving the main entrance for patients, families and visitors.
“Change is never easy but it was important that the Guest Service Specialists (security screeners) working in the main lobby be able to easily differentiate between employees and customers,” Hollier says. “It’s gratifying now to stand in the lobby and watch as patients and families are greeted, assisted/screened and badged, without undue delay because there is an entrance that is reserved just for them.”
Security plays a major role in enforcing the family presence and visitation policy in ways that also take account of special situations. Working as mediators between staff and family, they locate places for family members to spend the night, provide a link between the unit and the family, and ensure that safe limits are adhered to.
The Guest Service Specialist division issues parent, grandparent and spouse cards which identify families who can have a 24/7 presence.
Security has even encouraged and supported family presence during procedures including emergency procedures such as cardiac arrests.
Hollier says, “Our employees are a dedicated group who do more than ‘just the job.’ They get involved, listen to the patient’s story, and give patients and families outstanding support each and every day.”