• Security Procedures

    All patients and staff should be provided with a safe working environment.

    Improving your practice

    1. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure a safe, secure environment and to prevent unauthorised access to the premises and restricted areas. This includes supplying the use of locks, alarm systems and duress alarms.
    2. Keys should be kept in a secure place out of public access and view.
    3. Provide a back-to-base alarm system.
    4. Duress buttons should be available at each desk for staff to alert other staff within the practice of an urgent situation threatening patient and/or staff safety. This includes a duress alarm for each seat at reception, each consulting room desk and at least one button in the treatment room/nursing area. Ideally, there should be two duress buttons in the nursing area - with one being a remote version, to be kept on the staff member and easily accessible in the case of an emergency. Duress alarms should connect through to the alarm system, to ensure police are instantly alerted and able to respond quickly without an additional phone call.
    5. An additional, non-powered (analogue) phone line should be available in the event of an emergency.
    6. Provide security monitors (preferably digital) in the public areas of the practice. These can generally act as a deterrent, but footage may be required by the police after an emergency event such as a violent episode. The alarm system and duress buttons should be tested frequently to ensure that they are operating effectively.
    7. Staff should be trained in the handling of an emergency (see Emergency procedures).
    8. Any patients or visitors exhibiting challenging or disruptive behaviour should be treated with caution and management notified immediately. Where necessary, the police should be contacted and the appropriate emergency procedures followed.
    9. Any aggressive or violent behaviour should not be tolerated.
    10. Medication, prescription stationery and other official documents, including stationery with letterhead should be accessible only to authorised personnel. These should be kept out of public view and access (e.g. in a locked drawer/cupboard).
    11. Only minimal amounts of cash should be held - other forms of payment should be encouraged (e.g. EFTPOS, credit card). Cash should be kept in a locked drawer. Cash should not be handled in public view and should be banked regularly.
    12. A keyed safe should be kept in a discreet and locked cabinet somewhere on the premises. Only senior/leadership staff should be able to access the safe, which ideally has a mail box-type slot for any daily takings to be inserted.
    13. If there are a number of staff on duty, cash taking and balance records should be kept daily to ensure the integrity of banking system.
    14. All confidential staff/contractor records should be kept in a locked, secure place only accessible by management staff.
    15. Lockers should be provided for staff for secure storage of their possessions during working hours.
    16. All medications, including samples should be kept in a locked cupboard and only accessed by authorised personnel. Any drug samples provided to patients should be documented in their medical record.
    17. Drugs of dependence must be kept in a separate locked safe, which is attached to a fixed object (e.g. a wall). All use of drugs of dependence is to be documented and recorded appropriately as per standards and regulations.
    18. Computer security measures must be implemented. (refer to RACGP standards - occupational health and safety)