Aware Because We Care

Brigham and Women's Hospital has launched a provocative security campaign to empower and educate employees about the dangers of 'tailgating', one of the most common security issues at hospitals nationwide. The #AwareBecauseWeCare campaign will be distributed broadly and serve as a resource to health care organizations around the world.

"Piggybacking" or "tailgating" - when an employee holds a door to a secure area for an unauthorized individual, or simply does not realize who is following them into the area - is one of the most common security issues at hospitals across the country. To address this challenge, BWH Communication & Public Affairs, in partnership with BWH Security leadership, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers to staff, patients, visitors and property that can occur when employees are not aware of others who may follow them into restricted areas. At the heart of the campaign are two dramatic videos that depict some of the worse-case-scenarios that could occur if an unauthorized visitor gains access to restricted areas of the hospital. In addition to the videos, signage will be installed at the point where unauthorized access happen - on the 1,200 card readers or locked doors inside the hospital and at exterior entrances - that prompts people to be aware.

The hospital is also implementing two updated policies that outline the actions that employees must take if they find themselves being followed by someone who is unauthorized to access a restricted area: question the person or contact Security. Employees will be provided with reminder cards that affix to their hospital identification badges and provide guidance for how to respond to someone following them using Stop, Challenge, Assist:

  • Stop: Before going any further, stop and ask the person if you can help them. Ask if they have a hospital ID if it’s not visible. Confirm whether they belong.
  • Challenge: If they do not have a badge or visitor ID, or do not have permission, tell them you are not able to let them in.
  • Assist: Help the person find a legitimate way to access the area, such as directing them to the Security Desk on the lower Pike of the Connors Center for the CWN building, or the main Information Desk. You can also ask whom they are meeting or where they are trying to go, and contact the person yourself or walk them to the area and ensure they belong. If the person seems suspicious and the situation doesn’t feel right, call Security at 617-732-6565.

If they are not comfortable doing the above, or if the person has forced their way into the locked area, they must call Security immediately at 617-732-6565. They will be asked to provide a detailed description of the person and their location. Employees are asked to remember that in this type of situation they must take one of two actions: Question the person themselves or contact Security so they can do so. Employees will be provided an ID tag to place on their employee badges with these instructions to reference. Download a photo of BWH ID badge:

Be Aware video.

Don't Hold The Door video.

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