Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Crime at WMHS
Last week, I wrote about an increase in crime in the region. It is important to know that crime, especially property crime, doesn't stop at the doors of the health system. Our Security Department and the Cumberland police are investigating a series of thefts from patients and employees. We offer to secure the valuables of our patients upon admission, but too few take us up on the offer. For the most part, the thefts have been small amounts of cash stored in the patient's night stand. Fortunately, Security has a pretty solid description of the individual from patients; a slightly built young white female with a head scarf. We are also taking steps to better secure patient belongings in night stands if they refuse to place items in our safe, increase surveillance on the patient units and increase patient and staff education. Employee thefts are routinely unsecured purses in unlocked lockers, unlocked desk drawers or unlocked file cabinets. If employees would do a better job of securing their belongings, employee thefts would virtually be eliminated. Our criminals must be extremely desperate to steal from patients who are at an extremely vulnerable point in their life. We will be publicizing information about the thefts to heighten awareness and hopefully catch these individuals.