Over 1650 Total Lots Up For Auction at Four Locations - NJ 04/25, MA 04/30, NJ Cleansweep 05/02, NJ 05/08

Amid staff shortages, automated robots may help solve hospital security and safety issues

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 22, 2024
Business Affairs
Knightscope's automated security robots
The need for better security has become a top priority for many hospitals in recent years as aggravated assaults and other violent crimes in the healthcare setting continue to rise, with providers and staff members frequently targeted.

According to the 2023 annual Health Crime Survey by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) Foundation, which tracks healthcare industry security and safety measures, hospital staff were the intended victims in 83% of all aggravated assaults, which accounted for 78% of violent crime incidents, in 2022.

Of the 192 respondents surveyed, 65% described efforts to recruit and retain security personnel as difficult or very difficult, compared to 14% who said it was easy or very easy. Those who found it challenging, on average, had 10 security personnel per 100 beds, compared to 7.7 among those who did not, indicating that increases in staffing may be the reason why hiring and maintaining a full security team has been so challenging.

Stacy Dean Stephens is the co-founder, EVP, and chief client officer for Knightscope, a security and robotics company headquartered in Mountain View, California that designs autonomous security robots (ASRs) to perform security and surveillance tasks. Powered by AI, these self-driving solutions use an array of sensors to patrol and surveil healthcare facilities and other areas for potential threats. When one is identified, the robot relays automatic real-time alerts to a security operations center or designated hospital administrators who can address the risk.

“Examples of potential threats include people in places where they should not be or at times of day when there should be no one present; known threats like terminated employees or people to whom a criminal trespass warning has been issued; or even domestic abusers attempting to contact their victims at a place of employment,” Stephens told HCB News.

Knightscope ASRs have 360-degree vision and night vision capabilities and make high-definition recordings that are accessible for up to 30 days. Additionally, machine learning continuously improves the software program, reducing margins of error over time.

Two other recently added features include Automated Gunshot Detection, for identifying gunshots indoors or outdoors in less than two seconds and tracing bullets within two meters of where shots occurred; and the Blue Light Emergency Phone system, which requires no infrastructure to operate.

You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment