There were several limitations associated with the 2015 Crime Survey that are worth noting. First, the survey sample is representative of hospitals affiliated with the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS). However, this is a good sample as IAHSS is the only organization solely dedicated to professionals involved in managing and directing security and safety programs in healthcare institutions and IAHSS members represent a significant number of the 5,000+ hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. The response rate to this survey, while higher than years past and higher than last year, is still low.
Second, we had concerns about the differences between crime definitions across states and provinces and ultimately between countries. To alleviate this concern, we provided survey respondents with crime definitions from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (U.S.) and the Canadian Criminal Code along with healthcare related examples. Based on the quality of responses received, it appears that this mitigated the anticipated issue.
Third, the use of bed counts as the sole indicator of hospital size and population is a limiting factor. There are better indicators that more accurately reflect size and population. For example, number of Emergency Department visits, hospital square feet, average daily census, and adjusted patient days can also be used to calculate crime rates. However, obtaining this information proved to be more difficult for some of the crime survey’s respondents. Bed counts, on the other hand, were the most consistently reported indicator of size and/or population.
The International Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation (IHSSF) was established to foster and promote the welfare of the public through educational and scientific research and development of healthcare security and safety body of knowledge. IHSSF promotes and develops educational research into the maintenance and improvement of healthcare security and safety management as well as develops and conducts educational programs for the public. For more information, please visit: www.ihssf.org.
CRIME SURVEY AUTHOR: KARIM H. VELLANI, CPP, CSC
Karim H. Vellani is the President of Threat Analysis Group, LLC, an independent security consulting firm. He is a member of the IAHSS and a Board Member of the IHSSF. Karim is Board Certified in Security Management (CPP) and a Board Certified Security Consultant (CSC). Karim has more than 20 years of security management and forensic security consulting experience, and holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management. He is the author of two books, Applied Crime Analysis and Strategic Security Management, and has contributed to a number of other security related books and journals. Karim may be reached at (800) 805-1585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.