October 11–17, the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) will celebrate its annual Healthcare Security and Safety Week. Healthcare organizations nationwide—including many sites where HSS provides security services—take time this week to acknowledge the commitment that healthcare security professionals make to their jobs, as well as the role they play in serving healthcare facilities, staff, patients, and visitors. One HSS customer location that takes time this week to recognize its officers and educate hospital personnel about the wide range of duties security professionals perform is Rush Foundation Hospital, Meridian, Miss.

On October 11–17, the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) will celebrate its annual Healthcare Security and Safety Week. Healthcare organizations nationwide—including many sites where HSS provides security services—take time this week to acknowledge the commitment that healthcare security professionals make to their jobs, as well as the role they play in serving healthcare facilities, staff, patients, and visitors. One HSS customer location that takes time this week to recognize its officers and educate hospital personnel about the wide range of duties security professionals perform is Rush Foundation Hospital, Meridian, Miss.

Rush Foundation Hospital Facility Security Supervisor L.D. Harrison oversees 32 HSS officers. For the past several years, Harrison has worked with Rush Foundation Hospital Director of Plant Operations, Security, and Safety Keith McCary to coordinate Healthcare Security and Safety Week activities that honor the security team and raise its profile among hospital staff. These efforts include a lunch or dinner for each of the three security shifts and gift bags courtesy of the hospital administration. Awards are presented to HSS teammates who provided exceptional customer service in the last year, such as an officer who paid for a cab to take a patient home. Clinical departments send the officers gift baskets to share.

Harrison’s favorite part of the week is manning a booth at a crosswalk outside the hospital, where staff can ask questions, pick up safety information, and take a survey that is used to help improve the security program. Those who complete the survey can enter a drawing for a prize such as a gift card donated by HSS. “The booth is educational for hospital staff as well as for us. It’s a good opportunity for our supervisors to get feedback by directly talking to staff,” he says. “Sometimes we explain services they didn’t know we perform, such as vehicle unlocks, and other times they just stop by and thank us.”

Healthcare Security and Safety Week is also a time for HSS corporate leaders to show teammates in the field that they care, and to highlight IAHSS’s continuing education opportunities. HSS Regional Director of Operations Rich Beougher points out that HSS contributes teambuilding activities such as pizza parties at certain HSS customer locations. “This goes above and beyond their local site leader acknowledging their profession and tells the employee, ‘Hey, you’re not a forgotten team member.’” He adds, “When site leaders organize an open house during this week, HSS officers often hear, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you guys do all that!’”

For HSS officers, the acknowledgments received and interactions experienced during Healthcare Security and Safety Week can build camaraderie and customer loyalty that lasts throughout the year. Harrison concludes, “This week shows our officers they’re appreciated, especially by the hospital. We always get positive feedback about it from hospital staff, who enjoy the chance to talk frankly with our officers and express their appreciation for what they do.”