Protecting Your Devices From Theft


When you look at your healthcare facility, do you see everything that you should? Sure, you see your patients, the physical systems in place to protect and assist them, and all of the tools at your disposal to facilitate healing. But do you see the potential for theft? Would you be able to recognize it?

When walking through your facility, pay special attention to computers and medical devices that look like computers – patient monitors, workstations, or any machines that boot up like a computer.

Consider the questions:

  • Could I simply grab and walk away with this machine?
  • What could keep this machine here if someone wanted to steal it?
  • How could I identify a thief if they took it?
  • How long would it take before I would notice that it was missing?

The answers to these questions are often things like:

  • Locks for laptops and computers
  • Locked rooms
  • Security cameras
  • Personnel in key locations

But every situation is different and should be handled thoughtfully. Patient care is still the priority, but security is also very important.

When you do evaluate your equipment, be sure you document your evaluation. And then document what you did to protect your equipment. This documentation is a rudimentary risk analysis process. And should something get stolen, you will be able to demonstrate that you’ve done something to protect your equipment.

But if you want to go even further, then a complete risk analysis should be executed against your equipment. Complete risk analysis includes more than just physical security, which is just one element of security.

Written By: Ben Archambault, IT Manager