Last week, I joined in on the Matrix Serious About Security Symposium held at the Cleveland Clinic. I heard interesting presentations covering trends in hospital security incidents and the convergence of security data networks onto an organization’s main network. Then Martin Epstein, manager of Technical Operations at the Cleveland Clinic, took some of us on a tour of the Clinic’s command center and its data and equipment space, which he laid out himself during the design process.

I have to mention here that I heard a couple speakers suggest that you architects and designers are just concerned with looks. I gasped to myself…blasphemy! Remind me to send them some copies of HEALTHCARE DESIGN.

But…what this may mean is that security operations feels a little left out of the game when it comes to design. You know, there just might be something designers can learn from security operations.

And this was the general message of the symposium with regards to architecture: hospital administration should require the design process to include security operations personnel.

There are simple things that a designer might miss. For example, those trees the landscape architect selected for their quick growth may be covering up a security camera’s line of sight in another two years. And there are more complex considerations, such as identifying entry points and mapping patient, visitor, and staff flow from a security perspective.

I am currently preparing a more in-depth online exclusive article on the topic of security and design, focusing on my tour of the Cleveland Clinic’s security center. I would be pleased to know about your own experiences with this topic. Have you worked with or does your administration encourage working with security operations in the design process? Leave comments here, or send an e-mail at