How Proper Maintenance Can Help Hospitals Take Full Advantage of Access Control’s Benefits
Healthcare facilities that partner with a trusted security technology integrator to develop smart maintenance strategies will ensure these solutions operate optimally and integrate with other technologies long after they are installed.
There is no question that healthcare facilities benefit greatly from robust access control. For example, installing locks on medicine cabinets can decrease incidents of drug diversion. Card access control solutions can help monitor staff time and attendance, as well as limit elevator access to certain hospital floors, such as pediatrics and the maternity area. Locks and access control also protect valuable assets and dangerous materials, such as expensive medical equipment, nuclear materials, data rooms, records and security operations centers. Smart cards can even be used for vending, cafeteria services, network access control and more.
Once locks and access card solutions are installed, however, the challenge is maintaining them. Older buildings can have card readers that are 10-15 years old, while their locks might even be older. These solutions might still be operating but most likely don’t have the features or functionalities needed to integrate with other technologies, such as video surveillance, intrusion or visitor management systems. This could create vulnerabilities.
Even when locks and access systems are new, they still must be maintained. Software must be kept up to date, and the batteries in wireless readers might need to be replaced. Databases must be backed up and kept current, as must the policies supporting everything. Locks and door hardware in high-traffic areas like the emergency department that take a lot of abuse must be repaired. Additionally, your organization must constantly be on the lookout for upgrades just coming on the market that could make your access control systems and locks even more effective.
There are two options to addressing these challenges. The first is to invest heavily in on-campus personnel and send them to security equipment manufacturer training so they are skilled in managing access control systems, as well as video surveillance, panic alarm, emergency notification, software updates, emergency notification and behavioral health systems.
The other option is to partner with an integrator or other subject matter expert and adopt the managed services approach to address system maintenance and lifecycle planning.
But which approach is most appropriate for your healthcare organization? It depends. Every hospital is different. While the managed services approach might work for one campus, having on-campus staff manage everything might be the better option for another healthcare organization.
Partnering with a trusted integrator such as STANLEY Security can help your hospital security department determine the best approach based on your unique situation. Many times, it can be cost effective for an integrator to manage access control system updates and maintenance, perform system health checks, make recommendations on data retention and archiving, and develop custom programming and interfacing to help your systems work together to accomplish your goals.
STANLEY Security frequently provides the following solutions to its healthcare clients:
- Software Support, Consultation and Integration
- System Consultation, Design and Installation
- Preventive Maintenance and Service Plans
- Access Control Systems
- Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Monitoring
- STANLEY® Guard Personal Safety and Security Response
- Standards Development and Strategic Planning
- Panic Buttons for Classrooms, Nurse Stations and Staff
- Mass Notification and Emergency Communication
- Behavioral Health Solutions
- Intrusion Alarm Systems
- Lock Down Solutions
- Custom Systems Integration
- Fire Alarm Systems, and Regular Tests and Inspections
- 24 Hour UL and ULC Monitoring Services
For more information on the solutions you can implement at your hospital or for educational resources on improving your security program, visit STANLEY Security at stanleycss.com.
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