High performance healthcare systems perform regular analyses of current performance capabilities of their various systems, including physical and electronic security systems. Security technologies have evolved to keep up with HIPPA and other legal and operational requirements to protect healthcare facilities, visitors, personnel, and patient information.
Access control is a technology that protects your entire organization. It creates a barrier where necessary and allows easy passage to those authorized to do so. Today, it’s not just keeping unauthorized people out of restricted areas, it’s also protecting patient records in the data center and securing controlled medications in the pharmacy.
While headline after headline reads of hackers gaining access to private data through online systems and network devices, physical and electronic security systems are still tested every day. These challenges may come from unauthorized visitors at your facility, personnel unintentionally attempting access to restricted areas, or worse.
As healthcare facilities face an increasing number of security challenges, it’s important to make sure that your access control technology is up to these new demands. A thorough system evaluation may be in order.
If so, healthcare systems have a variety of important stakeholders to consider in this process, ranging from security personnel to the IT department to administrators and physicians whose input and interests are critically important.
Your IT department will want a system that can be managed easily on an enterprise level, likely including system software and database virtualization along with modern electronic intrusion safeguards in place that work harmoniously with their various existing IT systems.
The personnel at your facility expect worry-free access to authorized areas. Delays in movement from department to department can delay patient care when minutes count. Visitor access must be controlled to keep people out of restricted areas entirely or out of specific areas on a time schedule basis.
Human resources wants a system that is intuitive to operate when adding, modifying, or removing personnel. When an incident needs to be investigated, system logs must be easy to access and review.
Administrators need to consider the long-term impact of a system upgrade on all departments and visitors. They will also evaluate the budget and impact on daily operations during the transition to a new system.
Perhaps one of the most complicated transitions is when one or more hospital systems merge and have disparate access control systems in place.
All of these concerns point to the three most important things to consider when evaluating your access control system and considering a conversion to a new system;
- Open architecture,
- Integration to 3rd party systems, and
- Card technology refresh to more secure platform.
1. Open Architecture
Access control system manufacturers work with other system manufacturers by providing an open architecture, or open software platform, for software development. Open architecture allows other companies to build their software in such a way that two or more systems can send and receive information, such as emergency alerts and resulting actions, between each other to create a smarter, easier to use solution.
2. Integration of Systems
Your facility has many security systems that need to work in conjunction with your access control system to allow for streamlined operations, especially during a critical emergency when second count. Video surveillance, fire detection, and intrusion detection are just a few of the systems that can work together to create a more intelligent solution for your facility.
3. Card Technology
Identity management is critical to security. Verifying identity is a critical component to securing your facility. Card technologies have evolved to provide a more secure means by which to decide to allow or deny access. These evolutions include biometrics, digital certificates, and other new technologies to confirm identity of staff and visitors.
The Vision team is prepared to assist your team with an evaluation of your current access control system. We’ll evaluate the findings and compare them to the policies and procedures of your healthcare system. Then, we’ll help you select a solution that meets all of your operational requirements.