How Access Control Ensures Hospital Compliance and Safety
Control of Who Can Access Your Property's Most Vulnerable Areas
Hospitals are open 24/7 and need to be easily accessible to the public, but they also house a vulnerable patient population. You won’t want to leave patients susceptible to being harmed, abducted, or going missing whether due to mind-altering ailments, legal disputes, or random acts of violence. On top of that, hospitals have additional compliance requirements for narcotics, expensive equipment, personnel files, and even blood storage.
That means any access control solution used in a healthcare environment needs to be robust and versatile. Below we outline the many ways you could use access control in your Bellaire, TX hospital, and how the right solution can leave you better prepared to protect staff, patients, and property.
Neutralize External and Internal Threats
Even though access control plays many roles in your hospital, that doesn’t mean you should ignore its most basic one. You have a lot of vulnerable people in your hospital who can’t properly defend themselves if a bad actor comes on to your property.
You should filter all guests to the main entryways for your lobby and emergency room, where they have to go through a reception desk and register to enter. Every other entry point in your building should have automatic locks and only be accessible to pre-approved employees.
Additional lock mechanisms should be implemented within each wing and floor of the hospital. If there is an intruder or violent patient, you reduce the risk to the rest of the hospital by locking down affected areas immediately. These tools will also be vital if you ever need to quarantine certain areas of the hospital due to infectious diseases.
Create Department-Specific Restrictions
There are many high-risk areas in a hospital due to intrinsic risks or a chance of pollutants. These include maternity wards, emergency rooms, intensive care units, cleanrooms, and laboratories that should only be accessible to required personnel. Sometimes access should require two different sets of doors or keycards.
Your access control needs to be versatile enough to implement this additional fortification, while still allowing for staff to move as quickly as possible throughout your property. Our systems let you quickly add and remove access. They use high-end readers that respond automatically to codes, cards, or biometrics. Even implement rules based on time so employees can only enter the property when on their specific shifts.
Manage and Monitor Medicines & Narcotics
Access control safety measures are vital to meeting federal regulations and processes in place to keep medicine and narcotics in your hospital from falling into the wrong hands. Drug cabinets should have additional locks, sensors, and cameras to track who accesses them.
Not only should your access control incorporate codes, tags or biometrics to open these cabinets, but in some cases, dual authentication should be used. Two different employees will need to use their corresponding cards to access the cabinets, allowing for shared accountability. Whenever narcotics or medicines are removed, they are scanned at their destination as well before being administered to patients.
Along with your access control, we recommend adding video surveillance to these areas, as well. If any issues do arise, administrators or authorities will be able to review this footage to ensure it was the authorized personnel using that access.
HIPAA Privacy Standards
In the digital age, it becomes a lot harder to protect patient information. Mobile doctor and nurses' workstations create additional risks of files falling into the wrong hands. Access control can be implemented in these situations too. Any time an employee wants to access one of these workstations, they need to scan their badge as well as enter their unique credentials.
Reduce Your Touch Points
One final consideration in a hospital's access control system is reducing the number of touchpoints. If staff or patients have to touch cards and doors for access, it could speed up the spread of germs. That's why we recommend readers which recognize cards from a distance and automatically open doors once credentials clear.
Are you interested in embracing a more robust, versatile approach to your hospital’s access control? Neutralize threats, meet compliance, and ensure a healthy working environment for patients and staff with a solution from ASAP Security Services. Give us a call at (877) 418-ASAP or fill out our contact form to chat with one of our security experts.