View Richard Sem's profile on LinkedIn
Who Are We?
Security Assessments
Workplace Violence
Security Expert
Healthcare Security
Industrial Security

Healthcare and Hospital Security Consultant and Expert

How do you balance your need to be an open and welcoming facility against your duty to properly and reasonably protect your people, assets and reputation? 

How do you provide a properly Secure Environment of Care in an Open Campus with a patient centered and family friendly culture?

Is your healthcare security program a strategically planned and synergistic system that cost effectively prevents and mitigates your real threats and risks, or is it a relatively random collection of measures applied over the years as a reaction to particular incidents and concerns?

Do your staff feel safe and secure in their work environments, or is there more you and they could do?

Does your Workplace Violence Program and Emergency Plan include comprehensive components of Prevention, Mitigation/Threat Management and Response?

Hospitals, and other healthcare facilities such as nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, clinics, assisted living and retirement communities, medical office buildings, etc., are, by nature, relatively porous.  They are also complex operations and their security is typically more involved and challenging than other types of facilities.  Developing, implementing and managing a healthcare security program that provides the needed levels of control and protection while maintaining or improving the desired levels of accessibility, service and patient satisfaction is a challenge. 

We have extensive experience providing a wide range of security and workplace violence assessment and planning services for healthcare facilities throughout the U.S.  Our hospital security consulting and expert services are always focused upon your unique culture, values, history, location, composition, risks, vulnerabilities, threats and budgets.  We know it is particularly essential to elicit the support for, understanding of, and involvement in security by all departments and staff. 

In recent years we served ten hospitals and clinics that had experienced shooting incidents, and we elicited lessons learned in the prevention of and response to workplace violence in the healthcare environment.   

Medical staff are increasingly concerned over their safety and security in their workplaces, especially involving intentionally assaultive, intimidating, threatening and violent behavior by patients and visitors.  The solution to safely preventing and managing such behavior lies in a team effort by the Administration, Security and the employees themselves.  Dick Sem was interviewed on emergency department security for the article, "Protecting Caregivers," in the November, 2009 issue of Security Management magazine.

Critical assets to consider in your healthcare security planning may include:

  • Children and Infants
  • Staff, Patients, Visitors and Families
  • Elderly Patients and Residents
  • Supplies including Linens, Scrubs and Food
  • Private Information
  • Pharmacies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Equipment
  • Patient, Visitor and Staff Property
  • Tenants and their people and property
  • The Buildings and Furnishings (e.g. against vandalism and graffiti)
  • Vehicles - Parking Lots and Structures
  • Cash
  • Reputation
  • Chemical Storage
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Labs
  • Loading Docks
  • Gift Shops
  • Etc.

Our support to hospitals, medical centers and other healthcare facilities, that meets the latest Joint Commission Environment of Care, OSHA, NIOSH and IAHSS Standards and HIPAA Requirements, includes:

  • Healthcare Security and/or Workplace Violence Assessments or Surveys (see "Assessments" page).  It is useful to periodically obtain an experienced and objective outside perspective on the security program.  Such Assessments can be facility-wide and comprehensive, addressing all functions and departments, or can be targeted in which there is a focus on particular departments or functions (e.g. Security Staffing/Management, Physical or Perimeter Security/Access Control, New Construction, Emergency Planning and Response, Maternity/Pediatrics, ED, etc.)
    • During the assessments or surveys we will typically interview representatives of Security, Safety, Nursing, Maternity/L&D, Pediatrics, Psychiatric, Emergency, Geriatric Care, Supplies, Food Service, Maintenance, Facilities Management, Pharmacy, Risk Management, Human Resources, Parking, Shipping & Receiving, IT/IS, Home Health Care, etc. on all shifts
    • We will tour and observe the facilities functioning at all hours, including the grounds, parking lots/structures and outlying buildings
    • We will review relevant materials including policies and procedures, emergency and crisis plans, incident and activity reports, post orders, contracts, past security audits and assessments, staff communications, security plans, etc.   
    • We also consider Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) in our reviews and planning
    • We benchmark the latest best practices against similar facilities
    • We can optionally distribute a questionnaire or survey to all or selected employees to elicit their concerns, issues and suggestions or facilitate focus group sessions
  • Staff Healthcare Security Awareness Training
  • Healthcare Workplace Violence Prevention, Mitigation and Response Processes and Training to include identifying, tracking and managing potentially violent patients, employees and family members as well as safely dealing with and de-escalating confrontational, aggressive, intimidating and threatening behavior as well as response to robberies.  We support and assist our clients in meeting the ACHE Professional Policy Statement, "Preventing and Addressing Harassment and Aggression in the Workplace."
  • Development of Hospital Security or Workplace Violence Policies, Plans and Procedures, including Security Management Plans that meet and exceed Joint Commission expectations.  See our page on "Workplace Violence" for more on those services.
  • Enhancement or Development of Hospital Security Officer/Police Programs, whether contract, proprietary, sworn officers or hybrid, including Training Programs; creation of Post Orders; development of RFP's, Contracts, Scopes of Work, Job Descriptions, or Specs; etc.  Note that security staff is typically the most costly, and sometimes problematic, aspect of the security program.  There is much that can be done to better assure a more cost effective and consistently professional and customer service focused security force.
  • Reviews, Benchmarking, Development and Enhancement of Hospital Security or Police Departments
  • Incorporating Security and Workplace Violence Response into existing Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Plans and Training
  • Serving as a hospital and healthcare expert witness in related litigations
  • Development of Self-Assessment and ongoing Hospital Security Audit Methodologies, or
  • The providing of ongoing security support on a retainer basis (The Virtual Security Manager)

We are familiar with and served California hospitals complying with the CA Health and Safety Codes, including sections 1257.7 and 1257.8 as well as California Assembly Bill (AB) 1083.  Related services include security assessments, workplace violence training and development of security plans and policies. 

Dick Sem is a member of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and the ASIS International Healthcare Security Council.

Healthcare organizations we have served include Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (following a shooting), Good Shepherd Medical Centers of Longview and Marshall, TX (following a mass stabbing), St. Peter’s Hospital and Albany Memorial Hospital in Albany, NY, Memorial Hospital of South Bend, IN, Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, NY, Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN (Health Partners), St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, CT (Ascension Health), SMS Healthcare in St. Louis, MO, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, CT, Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, CT, Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, MN, Harrison County Hospital in IN, Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, Children’s Hospital of Central CA in Fresno, CA, Danbury Hospital in Danbury, CT (following a shooting), Good Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY, Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, MD, three hospitals of Scottsdale Health in Scottsdale, AZ (following a shooting), Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, AK (following a shooting), three hospitals of Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville, FL (following a shooting), Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock, TX, Denver Health, East LA Doctors Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, East AL Medical Center in Opelika, AL, New Milford Hospital in New Milford, CT, Southeast AL Medical Center in Dothan, AL, Satilla Regional Medical Center in Waycross, GA, Rogers Memorial Psychiatric Hospitals in Wisconsin, Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, CA, University of Alabama – Birmingham Medical Center, Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, NY, Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake, NY, and Jackson-Madison County Medical Center in Jackson, TN, etc.

We can assist as a healthcare security consultant and expert, whether you have 30 or 900 beds.  Most hospitals and clinics have found that it is worthwhile and cost effective to periodically obtain an objective outside perspective on their security program to confirm that it still properly and effectively addresses the true risks, threats, vulnerabilities and liabilities.

Please call or write if you have any questions or would like to request a proposal.

We will provide a list of healthcare client and professional references upon request.

We are located in the Midwest between Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI and support clients throughout North America, Europe and the world
Richard D. Sem, CSC CPP
President and Healthcare Security Consultant and Expert
Sem Security Management
2133 Ravenswood Road
Burlington, WI    53105
P:   262-862-6786
FAX:   847-589-8566

Helping you protect your people, assets, reputation and value

"It was a pleasure working with Sem Security Management and I would very much recommend Sem Security Management as would I use them again in the future."

"Sem Security's breadth of experience and knowledge was very helpful to us in improving our understanding of the issues and options we had regarding security." 

"The feedback I received from the staff and officers  interviewed by Dick was excellent.  They commented on his thoroughness and his professionalism and willingness to listen.  The report we received from him was complete, comprehensive, well-written and extremely helpful."

"To describe your report as comprehensive and excellent is an understatement"    hospital security, hospital security consultant, healthcare security, assisted living security, hospital security expert, healthcare security expert, Clinic security, The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS)