Significant information technology investments are being made in hospitals across the United States, ranging from electronic medical records to information exchange, all in the interest of improving care, processes and efficiencies within the hospital. One tool for gaining efficiencies that often is overlooked is physical security.
Virtually every hospital has systems in place for video surveillance and access control. And, companies that integrate security technology have many options available to achieve incremental benefits for these core capabilities within a hospital's security environment.
Here's an example of one hospital that identified an opportunity and is reaping the rewards.
New Solution Manages Multiple Personnel, IT Systems
A 515-bed hospital, located in the northeast United States, provides a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic medical services, and functions as a major teaching and clinical research institution. Previously, it had an access control system that required replacement so it would meet the latest standards for security and data management. The volume of clinical and academic staff, medical students and support staff demanded a more robust system that would help increase efficiencies in handling the facility's dynamic and varied workforce.
A key process improvement opportunity was identified by the hospital's security staff, leveraging and integrating the new access control system to automate the facility's credentialing process across various departmental systems. It would also ensure appropriate facility access levels.
The hospital's security integrator, ADT Healthcare Solutions, proposed an access control system supplemented with an additional information management component designed by in-house ADT engineers. The integration component would meld the hospital's multiple disparate personnel applications and information systems so that only one point of data entry would be required. The solution would automatically populate data across the facility's multiple systems, including human resources, payroll, time and attendance, contractor verification, point-of-sale/vending as well as other directory systems. Additionally, the solution enabled access rights to be applied within a set of business rules defined by security and departments across the institution.
After assembling a team of stakeholders representing information management, hospital operations, security and ADT Healthcare, the team outlined and defined requirements and customized the system interfaces to meet the hospital's specific system and operational needs. Initial implementation was done in a test environment to ensure accuracy, followed by full implementation.
HR, Data and Security Management Operations Now More Robust
The ADT solution works by integrating the hospital's appropriate systems so that, for example, when a new employee is entered into the human resources management system, the relevant data is pushed to the access control system where a card number is assigned. That data then is repopulated back in the human resources management system as well as the other hospital personnel systems.
By including the solution in their access control system implementation, the hospital's HR, data and security management operations are now much more robust. With data entry occurring at a single point, the hospital's data records maintain much higher levels of integrity across all systems, significantly reducing the opportunity for input errors. It is also helping improve customer and user satisfaction while helping improve workflow and potentially reduce the risks from incorrect credentialing. Additionally, the integration has eliminated the need for new employees or clinicians to visit various departments or buildings to have their access credentials updated with information from disparate systems.
Furthermore, the hospital's security staff has the ability to designate access rights to personnel by applying a set of business rules based on their function. Once set, the access rights are automatically applied across the various systems.
New Solution Mitigates Risk, Ensures Compliance
With automation and business rules in place, enforcement of business and security processes through auditing and reporting functions helps mitigate risk and ensure compliance with the appropriate hospital procedures. It also improves the credentialing process for those utilizing and accessing the system.
In the end, the access control integration project has had a very positive business impact and elevated the visibility and credibility of the hospital's security department and leadership.
For more information about ADT Healthcare Solutions, visit www.adtbusiness.com/healthcare.
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