Duke University Health System Hospitals to be Equipped with Weapons Detection Systems

The installation of these security systems comes in the wake of a rise in violence at healthcare facilities.

By HFT Staff

Weapons detection systems will be installed at the main public entrances to each of the three Duke University Health System hospitals, including Duke University, Duke Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals. 

The detection systems, similar to those used at public event venues, will provide additional safety and security for patients, visitors and staff members, and are in response to an increase in violence occurring at healthcare facilities nation-wide. 

In recent months Duke University Health System has enhanced the security presence at key hospital and clinic locations; provided additional emergency alert support to care teams; posted signage that aggressive behavior will not be tolerated; trained staff on de-escalation tactics; and made fewer entrances accessible to visitors, among other measures. 

The weapons detection systems will allow patients and visitors to pass through the devices without having to empty pockets or handbags or remove belts. They are designed to detect firearms and moderately sized knives and other weapons. 

Appropriate signage will alert visitors that screening is in place and remind visitors to leave any weapons behind before entering the hospital. Detected illegal items will be confiscated; other items must be returned to a vehicle or discarded. Visitors who fail to comply by either surrendering their weapons or removing them from their persons will not be allowed entrance. 

Although the scanners are safe for pregnant women and those with medical devices, patients and visitors can opt to be screened with a hand wand. If they refuse any screening, they will not be allowed to enter the premises. 

Staff members with badges will not be screened. 

February 17, 2023

Topic Area: Safety

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