BMC has always been a healing environment and a weapons-free facility. To continue to improve safety for our patients, visitors, and staff, BMC is piloting a new security screening process. As of December 11, everyone entering into BMC’s Emergency Department will pass through a security screening station. In order to create a single flow of traffic to the Emergency Department, patients and visitors will only be allowed to use the ED entrance located on Shapiro Drive (725 Albany Street).

The security screening process is designed to be thorough and efficient and is similar to what is used at other healthcare facilities across the country.

Why has Boston Medical Center installed metal detectors at the entrance of the Emergency Department?

Metal detectors are a common practice in health care and other settings. They detect items that may compromise the safety of those in the hospital — patients, staff, and visitors. These detectors are just one of several safety measures Boston Medical Center has taken to ensure a positive experience for our patients, their loved ones, and our staff members.

Who is required to go through the security screening process? 

Any patients, visitors, and employees going through the Emergency Department entrance are required to undergo security screening. Screening will be active 24/7. Anyone previously screened who leaves the Emergency Department must be rescreened upon returning to the Emergency Department.

Will there be a long wait to pass through the security screening station?

There could be a brief wait upon arrival to the screening station, however, the goal is to minimize wait time as much as possible.

Will a patient need to be screened if they require immediate medical attention?

Patients entering with obvious life-threatening emergencies will be allowed to bypass the security screening process, but they may undergo security screening once clinically appropriate.

Will any of my belongings need to be placed on a conveyor belt for X-ray imaging?

Yes, all personal items entering the Emergency Department will undergo security screening. Items not appropriate for the clinical space may not be allowed.

Will it be the same entrance for all people, including those with implanted medical devices, wheelchairs, scooters, strollers, etc.?

Yes, it is safe for all individuals to pass through the detectors. However people with pacemakers or those who may experience mobility challenges may undergo screening using a handheld device.

What happens if a weapon is found during the security screening process?

The goal of the security screening process is to focus on patient and staff safety. If an illegal or dangerous item is discovered, it will be confiscated. Any illegal or dangerous items that are confiscated will not be returned. Illegal items may be turned over to law enforcement.