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Penn Medicine invests $28M in new weapons detection, security tools to limit violence against health workers

Physical and verbal violence against health care workers has reached record levels, according to federal data. At the main lobby entrance to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, patients and visitors are directed toward a security system.

They walk between two tall panel devices: a security machine that scans for metal objects. The system is equipped with artificial intelligence that determines if the shape of that object resembles a gun, knife or other kind of weapon.

A security guard demonstrates how the system works by walking through with a baton in his back pocket. The machine gives off one loud beeping sound. A tablet screen nearby displays a frozen image of the guard with a red box over the area of his back pocket.

“The machine pretty much has a computer in it that tells us, ‘Hey, this is where that threat may be,’” said Eddie Elliot, security systems coordinator. “Hypothetically, if it was a bag or something like that, you would still have to do some type of search protocol, but it’s still letting you know where exactly you can identify the threat.”

The new security system and technology are part of Penn Medicine’s $28 million project to limit and prevent violence against health care workers, which has been on the rise nationally.

The hospital installed this new Evolv weapons detection security system in the lobby in October. During the first three months, the machine prevented 123 guns, 72 knives and 143 other unspecified weapons from entering the medical facility.

“Some of these people over the years have been bringing guns in, but now we’re catching it,” said Joe Forte, hospital security director.

On average, more than 2,500 people every day pass through the main lobby of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and another couple thousand come through other public entrances and the emergency department — making it one of the busiest hospitals in Philadelphia.

Read the whole article here.

Autor: Nicole Leonard   Quelle: whyy.org (10.05.2024 - LW)
 
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