Safety protocols for hospitals follow a thin line of control. While many factors come into play considering the security system required by the healthcare industry, the predominating reasons have always been patient and physicians’ safety. Modern hospitals and health care centers are getting standardized. With this, each of them are required to follow strict norms regarding critical components like building management system, access control, surveillance, fire detection, restricted area breaches, etc. Further, beyond the management’s ethical responsibility for the comfort and safety of the patients and staff, they also need to protect the expensive medical equipment and prescription drugs. Breaches in hospital safety can range from a planned theft to an opportune stealing. These unwarranted situations can be easily deflected using access control meant for healthcare sector. They have also shown their worth around the world. An instance is the case of Tri City Medical Center in California that reportedly saved $50000 a year by installing access control systems. Now that healthcare centers are aiming to get more technologically advanced with better infrastructure and expensive drugs, access control systems have become more critical than ever before.
Which control measure works best for healthcare sector?
It is also important to understand that hospitals, as a patient care organization, would tend to avoid invasive security measures. Systems that promote panic, discomfort and confusion among patients and their family members are not recommended solutions. High tech devices provided by access control systems play an important role in providing a resilient security system which is virtually invisible to visitors and patients. A good example of such system would be a Real-Time locating system. With a small hardware, it helps in tracking expensive hospital equipments and saves it from leaving its designated location. Such non-obtrusive systems will be able to create a calm, friendly and open design, making everyone feel at ease. Modern access control systems for the healthcare facilities have several advantages:
- Regulated access for members of staff
- Strict monitoring and control of entry/exits to/from restricted areas
- Free movement of medical crash teams and frail patients
- Site lock down in the event of infection
- Large scale issue of cards/permits
- Control of drug cabinet/stores using swipes that trigger CCTV footage
- Control of access/emergency lights
- Local control for individual departments
- Patient safety / access / exit standards
- Record keeping
The cost on inpatient care globally is $2,025 per day. In 2014, more than 23% of hospitals worldwide have reported an increase in incidence of security breaches, attacks and even assaults. Electronic access control systems are the most popular mechanisms recommended by professionals to prevent such incidents in the healthcare centers. Subsequently, more than 70% of hospitals have updated their security plans in the last 12 months. The provision and scope of the systems can be highly customized according to the type of healthcare facility. Even residential homecare centers are installing access control systems to prevent security breaches. Apart from security, another important advantage of such modern system is record keeping and monitoring.With minimum investment, access control systems are proving to be cheaper and profitable in the longer run, making the facility completely safe and secure.