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Atlantic Health System Security Team Recognized for Workplace Violence Prevention

Monday, December 23, 2013 • 11:50am

Atlantic Health System has again received the CSO40 Award from IDG's CSO magazine, in recognition of the health care organization’s numerous security initiatives, including efforts in preventing workplace violence.

This is the second year that Atlantic Health System, one of the largest health care organizations in New Jersey, and parent organization of Morristown, Overlook and Newton medical centers and Goryeb Children’s Hospital, has received the award.

Launched last year, the CSO40 Awards recognizes 40 organizations for security projects and initiatives that demonstrate outstanding business value and thought leadership. The CSO40 Awards are scored according to a uniform set of criteria by a panel of judges that includes security leaders, industry experts, and academics. Awards will be presented at the CSO40 Security Confab + Awards conference held on March 31 - April 2, 2014 at Chateau Elan, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlantic Health System’s Workplace Violence Prevention (WPV) program is a multifaceted initiative that incorporates not only Atlantic Health System’s security team, but also cutting-edge technology and most-importantly, a culture of awareness and preparedness among employees and staff.

“To keep an organization with multiple campuses and thousands of employees, visitors and patients safe, having an excellent security staff and top-of-the-line technology is only part of the plan,” said Alan Robinson, director of protection and security services and emergency management for Atlantic Health System. “The key to safety lies in promoting a workplace environment in which employees not only feel safe, but are also responsible for safety.”

This includes a Corporate Workplace Violence Prevention Committee, which meets throughout the year, to discuss AHS policies, incidents and practices involving workplace violence. The hospital system’s security team also holds numerous training and drills throughout the year with staff to prepare for a variety of emergency situations. Staff is also provided domestic violence prevention and protection training at orientation.

This culture of awareness and preparedness is constantly fine-tuned by Atlantic Health System’s “Red Cell” program. This initiative includes regular infiltration testing, in which undercover security agents attempt to gain unauthorized access to sensitive areas of Atlantic Health System facilities, in order to identify and prevent potential breaches. “Red Cell,” earned Atlantic Health System the inaugural CSO40 Award last year.

Atlantic Health System’s security force oversees approximately 9.2 million square feet across more than 100 locations. The department has a senior staff with extensive experience in law enforcement, investigation, security, fire safety, regulatory compliance and emergency management.

The security force’s training includes safe, control and/or restraint techniques designed to de-escalate situations involving aggressive individuals, and techniques to defuse or steer aggressive individuals away from other visitors or patients.

Special training also extends to other members of Atlantic Health System’s staff. This includes the Nurse-Safe program, in which nurses and clinical staff are trained to identify the warning signs of aggressive behavior, how to verbally defuse situations, as well as techniques to release and escape oneself from physical attacks, move to safety and help colleagues under attack.

Atlantic Health System utilizes technology that helps not only identify individuals who have records of violent behavior but also notifies staff in order to protect employees, and other visitors and patients. Some of this technology utilizes national law enforcement databases that operate in real-time.

“For the second year in a row, outstanding organizations demonstrating innovation, creativity and understanding of business value in security were chosen from a large pool of submissions." said Joan Goodchild, editor, CSO. "We congratulate this year's CSO40 winners and applaud them for setting the bar high for security's role in providing value and ROI in business."

CSO is the premier content and community resource for security decision-makers leading “business risk management” efforts within their organizations.  For more than a decade, CSO’s award-winning Web site (CSOonline.com), publication, executive conferences, custom solutions and research have equipped security decision-makers to mitigate both IT and corporate/physical risk for their organizations and provided opportunities for security vendors looking to reach this audience. CSO is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events and research company. Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com.

For more information about Atlantic Health System, visit www.atlantichealth.org.

For more information about CSO magazine, visit www.csoonline.com.

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