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Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mt. Holly, NJ, is a 433 bed hospital widely recognized for its maternal/child, orthopedics, geriatrics, cardiology, neurology, and oncology services. Part of Virtua Health, the largest healthcare provider in southern New Jersey, Virtua Mt. Holly’s specialty programs include a sleep center, diabetes education and treatment including wound care, asthma management and cardiac rehabilitation. Virtua Mt. Holly is the first hospital in South Jersey to be granted the coveted Primary Stroke Center Certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
AlliedBarton Security Services, who began its partnership with Virtua Mt. Holly 16 years ago, has been a steady and reliable presence for the hospital, providing access control and mobile and walking patrols, monitoring security cameras and teaching security related classes.
The very nature of the healthcare industry creates many challenges in terms of security. The healthcare environment is one that is always changing and is always susceptible to the unexpected. Every day, Virtua Mt. Holly faces the challenge of dealing with new regulatory standards, new sicknesses, unexpected numbers of patients, labor issues, expansion projects and disasters.
As a result, a quality security program is extremely critical. “We need to know that our security program can respond on many levels,” explained Diana Amey, Virtua Mt. Holly’s Administrative Director of Operations. “The most important area is the front line – our security team and local management need the training and expertise to deal with whatever we throw at them. Equally important are the resources that support those local individuals.”
Amey and the Virtua Mt. Holly leadership can’t always predict what the next challenge will be and neither can the security team. Knowing that AlliedBarton’s network of support and expertise is available to help in any way necessary provides peace of mind for Virtua Mt. Holly and other healthcare institutions that are always prepared to expect the unexpected.
“We seem to have a regular habit of getting the unusual,” Amey continued. “That can be anything from a natural disaster to an unusually high volume of patients and visitors. Whatever the day’s challenge, AlliedBarton is always ready to step up and provide the services we need.”
Layers of support from the entire AlliedBarton team have proven to be the answer to Virtua Mt. Holly’s security challenges. A highly trained team of security officers is on the ground, every day, completely integrated into the Virtua Mt. Holly culture. Also on the ground every day, dedicated solely to Virtua Mt. Holly’s needs is the AlliedBarton Account Manager. This individual serves not only as a single point of contact for all of Virtua Mt. Holly’s needs but also as an expert resource. Because he is dedicated specifically to Virtua Mt. Holly, he too is completely integrated – as much a part of the Virtua team as he is part of the AlliedBarton team. This means he knows the account intimately, can anticipate needs, is responsive and proactive.
Supporting the Account Manager is the larger AlliedBarton corporate team who provides support both locally through the district and regional offices and nationally through extensive security and healthcare experience.
“AlliedBarton is a resource for us,” Amey explained. “The expertise is there and we use it when we need it. Their flexibility is also important as our needs and challenges frequently change.”
Because of AlliedBarton’s national resources, the local management can remain focused on meeting the client’s need and fostering a program based on quality. Those resources, including training, recruiting, and industry-specific experience, mean not only are the client’s needs met, but the security staff and local management team’s needs are met as well.
“The officers at Virtua Mt. Holly receive extensive and ongoing training,” said William Kovar, AlliedBarton’s Account Manager dedicated to Virtua Mt. Holly. “Our officers like the training and see the value in it. And, if additional training is needed, I know our training community can make it happen.”
“We are also supported locally by regional and corporate recruiting resources,” Kovar continued. “If Virtua Mt. Holly experiences a planned event or an unexpected situation that requires additional security personnel, we are able to provide properly trained staff quickly.”
“The combination of security resources here is amazing,” Amey said. “We have our own internal resources, the security staff and local and national AlliedBarton management.”
That commitment to excellence has spread throughout the health system. “Security best practices from Virtua Mt. Holly have been implemented within Virtua Health. Those were developed because of the AlliedBarton team and their training,” Amey said. “It is very nice to be regarded as the best practice. That is something I am proud of. Our security team is looked at by the Virtua staff and leadership as the experts.”
“AlliedBarton provides us with consistency and quality of service,” Amey said. “The AlliedBarton security staff and management are dedicated to our patients, employees and staff.”
The level of expertise and quality, combined with a long term relationship built on trust, has resulted in a unique level of acceptance and integration. “Our team is so completely integrated that the staff and patients don’t think of us as contracted personnel,” said Alan Van Norman, AlliedBarton District Manager. “That type of relationship is very valuable and is the result of continuous quality service.”
“Virtua Mt. Holly conducts satisfaction surveys and we consistently score high with both employees and patients,” added Kovar. “The support our security team receives from Virtua Mt. Holly and all of AlliedBarton has resulted in longevity, excellent morale, and an over all sense of ownership which has spread throughout every level of the team.”