Your Safety, Your Security


Along with providing the highest quality care to members of our communities, we take very seriously our role in providing a safe environment for patient care. Recognizing that Santa Barbara is growing and changing, we continually evaluate our own policies and processes.


Over the past few years, Cottage Health System has increased its security in a number of ways in an effort to provide the safest possible environment for our patients, employees, physicians, and volunteers. Most of these changes are not visible to the public.


One that is apparent to all visitors is the mandatory badging system for those visiting our hospitals.


We are not alone among hospitals nationwide in needing to address issues of safety, inappropriate, or erratic behavior, even violence. Incidents both in and outside of Santa Barbara have heightened our awareness of our responsibilities. The abduction of an infant in 2009, despite Cottage's security systems and the quick resolution of the event, reinforces the need to be vigilant in protecting all patients who entrust us with their care.


The patient and visitor identification system is now  in place at all Cottage hospitals -- in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Santa Ynez Valley. It's a challenging task. More than 4,000 individuals enter through the doors of our hospitals on a daily basis. Our hospitals must remain comforting and welcoming refuges for the sick and injured, yet there's a need to balance a welcoming environment with greater control of access to our facilities.


We want to acknowledge the cooperation of all those who are affected by the procedure. We appreciate your stopping at our entry desks to identify yourself, and to indicate whether you are visiting a patient or coming for tests or treatment. The greeters at these entrances are also there to assist you in providing directions to the appropriate department or patient care unit.


In order for patients and visitors to access the hospital as quickly as possible, we have asked physicians and employees to enter through other secured entrances. Please don't ask employees to let you in behind them through these secured entrances. It presents a conflict for them in trying to help you while also assuring that security is not breached.


We believe that these security measures have been and continue to be both necessary and important. We thank you for your understanding and support and ask also that you let us know how we can further improve our service to you.