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The Importance of Access Control Systems in Hospitals

Posted 2 years ago

When most people consider places that might need access control systems, hospitals usually aren’t very high up on the list. Generally, when we think of facilities needing security, financial institutions, security companies, government buildings, and similar locations come to mind, but hospitals are just as vulnerable to security breaches. Healthcare facilities often have a number of high priority security concerns such as workplace violence, infant and pediatric security, emergency room security, theft prevention, parking lot security, pharmacy control, and much more.

Benefits of Access Control Systems for Hospitals

Healthcare facilities such as hospitals are usually open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are required to be accessible to the public. As a result, there are dozens or even hundreds of unknown visitors to a hospital on a daily basis. Medical scenarios are often fraught with drama and, in emergency situations, emotions can run high on all sides.

Patients (or even family members of patients) can become belligerent or even violent. Cases of quarantine need to be handled quickly and efficiently to prevent the spread of disease. In addition, hospitals are often concerned with patient safety, as parental disputes, power of attorney issues, and mind-altering ailments can lead to patients being abducted, harmed, or going missing.

Furthermore, with pharmaceutical drugs and expensive equipment distributed throughout the premises, hospitals are highly susceptible to theft and abuse. A strong, comprehensive access control system can improve overall security, decrease hospital liability, and increase patient and staff safety.

The Benefits of Modern Hospital and Healthcare Security Systems

Access control systems come in a variety of designs with numerous different available features. Unlike access systems for other types of facilities, hospital access control systems are unique in that they must be capable of restricting access to sensitive areas, preventing the spread of disease, tracking and preventing the theft of vital healthcare equipment and drugs, and protecting both staff and patients. Therefore, the type of hospital access control system and the specific features selected should address these security concerns.

Touch Point Reduction in Healthcare Restricted Access

To prevent the spread of disease, a hospital access control solution should reduce the number of “touch points” in a facility. Touch points are points of access where a staff member must physically make contact with an object in order to get through, such as a handle, push bar, keypad, or similar security device. In a hospital environment, where the spread of germs is a major concern, touch points create a hazardous breeding ground for germs.

However, with the onset of new technologies, access control systems for hospitals no longer require many touch points, if any at all. For example, door readers which read and authenticate a credential from a distance remove the need for touching keys or keypads. Credentials could be presented in the form of a smart card which can be used for multiple access points and can be read without contact. Similarly, the doors can be programmed to open automatically upon verification of credentials, removing the touch points on the doors. With these features, access control systems can significantly diminish the chance of spreading germs.

Theft and Abuse Reduction through Healthcare Access Control Systems

Hospital access control systems may also be used to track drugs and equipment as they are moved from location to location within a hospital. Each pharmacy item and piece of hospital equipment can be fitted with tags that are scanned through each access point. When a piece of equipment is needed in a hurry, the access control system has at least a rough estimate of its location so hospital staff can find it quickly.

Ready to Update a Hospital’s Access Control System?

Clearly, hospital security systems shouldn’t be the same as they were ten years ago. Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, and some hospitals are behind the times, leaving patients, staff, and the hospital as a whole exposed to security risks and potential dangers.

At Customer 1st Communications, we have been designing and installing access control systems for over a decade, and we understand the unique security needs of hospitals and medical facilities. If it’s time for your hospital to enhance its security, C1C can help plan and implement a new, state-of-the-art hospital security system with advanced access control, reduced touch points, and so much more. For a free consultation, contact us here.

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