Customer service is important in any industry, and the provision of security and protective services is no different. Positive engagement with staff and customers can help support a culture of safety and security in any setting.
In a healthcare environment, good customer service typically serves as a solid foundation to the best designed and implemented security programs. In today’s world, a prominent security presence is a given in most Emergency Departments, but Officers can also be found at other high-traffic entrances and increasingly, externally, around the perimeter of buildings, helping with traffic flow, providing wayfinding guidance and conducting preliminary screening of those entering the facility.
When this approach is implemented, Security Officers are often the first point of contact for patients, their families and visitors to hospitals or healthcare facilities. This first touch opportunity means that a Security Officer has a responsibility to ensure that initial contact is positive and that those coming in or interacting with security feel welcomed, safe and secure. The art of projecting approachability while conveying the presence of a secure environment is one worthy of a lengthy stand-alone article – suffice to say it takes the selection of the right security staff and training and empowering them, to make this fine balance a reality.
Done well, people are provided service that is customer-oriented, and allows the Security Officer role to function as an ambassador for the healthcare organization, which in turn helps to demonstrate the hospital’s commitment to a patient-centric environment. We’re all familiar with phrases like “go the extra mile” or “above and beyond,” but particularly in healthcare, doing that little bit extra makes a meaningful difference to the experience of the patients, residents and other healthcare clients.
While some may see this as the “soft side” of Healthcare Security, at PalAmerican, we stress the importance of this function in our recruitment and selection of staff. PalAmerican’s specialized training ensures the learning pathway to security in a healthcare setting includes an emphasis on customer service at every step in the process.