A former medical student who had been dismissed from a program in New York roamed the halls of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for days.
According to the Boston Globe, the middle-aged woman dressed in scrubs, asked questions at a lecture, attended patient rounds and even helped transport a patient to the recovery unit.
The incident highlights a major security problem for hospitals called “tailgating.”
As is the practice at many hospitals, Brigham operating room staff hold their identification badges in front of an electronic card reader to gain access to surgery suites.
However, the woman tagged along behind employees slipping in as groups of operating room staff held the door for one another.
Because people naturally want to hold the door for others, “we always have to teach people to go against the way they were brought up,” Bonnie Michelman, executive director of security at Mass. General, told the Boston Globe.
Electronic card access and security cameras outside operating rooms — both in place at the Brigham — are considered “best practices.”
However, with growing concerns about hospital security, other safeguards should be considered, said Martin Green, president of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety and head of security at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.
Options include installing subway-style turnstiles, stationing a receptionist or security officer outside operating rooms or finger or eye scanner systems. Each of these systems has both benefits and drawbacks.
Read the full story at Boston Globe.com.
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