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Physical security pilot program ongoing

Jun. 5, 2023, 4:33 PM

by Craig Boerner

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is piloting several new physical security measures, including metal detectors.

Pilot testing is taking place on VUMC’s 21st Avenue campus, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks. The evaluation involves looking at all entrances through which patients and visitors can access facilities.

“Working closely with our partners in Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD), we are fortifying an already good security and safety foundation,” said Chad Fitzgerald, JD, Senior Vice President of Health System Emergency Operations at VUMC. “The work to further enhance our security has been ongoing for some time.”

Employees, visitors and patients will test the security measures on a voluntary basis during the project’s pilot phase, according to Charles DeFrance, director of VUPD for the Medical Center. VUPD will be on site and participating in all tests.

“We will implement the same protocols we currently use in the Emergency Departments (EDs),” DeFrance said. “Our focus will be on evaluating the sensitivity of these metal detectors and observing the flow of pedestrians. We are testing to evaluate sensitivity and, similar to what we do in our EDs, practice the flow. Safety is our number one concern, and part of this is making sure our process is efficient and does not affect clinical care and patient experience.”

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