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Salem Health is protecting you with stronger security

07 May 2023

Limiting access and free movement in facilities

By: Cheryl Nester Wolfe, RN MSN NEA-BC, CEO and President


Salem Health is stepping up to protect our community against the growing threat of violence we read and hear about almost every day. Everyone has the right to feel safe here. No patient, employee or provider harm is acceptable to us.

What we’re doing:

  • We introduced a reporting system to protect against “Harmful Words and Actions.” New training empowers providers and staff to “stop the line,” as these behaviors are never, ever acceptable. Through training, teams have tools to de-escalate these behaviors in the moment.
  • We’ve increased ties with local police by providing badge access for all local patrol vehicles, which also helps us file police reports without having to reveal personal information, like home addresses.
  • We installed a weapons detection system at the Salem Hospital emergency department entrance.
  • Security has conducted active shooter trainings across the organization.
  • We’re restricting public access by keeping certain doors locked and recently completed security evaluations of all our off campus locations. 

Security protocols

New security protocols and standards are being adopted. We’ll keep you informed of details that pertain to providers, especially.

The aim is to lessen the damage an individual could cause within our facilities on and off our main campus in Salem. The main drivers here are limiting access to facilities and limiting free movement within facilities. For example, we are increasing interior badge access control, installing duress alarms, adding cameras, and separating waiting rooms from patient care areas with physical barriers (like a door). 

Awareness from providers will add a layer of security as well. When you enter a restricted entrance, be aware of your surroundings. If asked, direct visitors to designated entrances, and be certain the door closes/latches behind you before moving on to your destination.

We will increase security presence at off site locations. This will be a significant increase in our security staff; Human Resources is rapidly recruiting for these positions using innovative techniques.  

A strong reminder — all employees and providers are empowered to stop the line when harmful words and actions occur, no matter the circumstance. If you have experienced harmful words or actions, please report the incident using the Patient Safety Alert system; if you’re unsure how this works while you’re on campus, ask the staff you work with.

You have the right to feel and be safe on our campus, in our hospitals and clinics.