On a typical, hectic day at Massachusetts General Hospital, as many as 60,000 people stream into the main building near the Charles River. Figuring out how to protect such a teeming mass of doctors and nurses, patients, and their families from random acts of violence is enough to keep even a seasoned security chief up at night.
For starters, there are too many entrances and exits to station metal detectors, and even those aren’t foolproof, said Bonnie Michelman, director of Mass. General’s police, security, and outside services. And a locked-down fortress is not the welcoming image a hospital wants to project to visitors.