Of all the locations security dealers and systems integrators secure, hospitals rank among the most challenging. From overcrowded ERs, to critical care floors, infant nurseries, and pharmaceutical closets, hospitals house multiple departments and serve a wide range of patients in a single building. Running on all eight cylinders around the clock, hospitals are tasked with addressing a long and varied list of security concerns. And those concern become the ultimate responsibility of the security professional a hospital entrusts to meet them. It’s a lot to think about.
Here are just some of the challenges inherent to hospital security from the outside in: Providing adequate parking garage security; Managing secure access within the hospital for medical and administrative staff, many of which have different levels of access authorizations to varying parts of the building; Facilitating Emergency Room safety; Safeguarding infant nurseries and pediatric wards; Managing special access considerations for infant nurseries, pediatric wards, psych units, and pharmaceutical closets; Securing privacy-protected medical records and personal information; Theft prevention, and the list goes on.
Hospitals are literally a revolving door for emergency workers, emergency rooms, patients being admitted, visitors, delivery people, staff and attending physicians. There are so many layers to providing adequate security, which is why a layered approach is absolutely necessary.
A good starting point in specifying a comprehensive hospital security system is parking lots and garages. License plate recognition (LPR) technology should be employed to identify and/or restrict vehicles entering a parking area, as it provides valuable information as to the identity of vehicles (and presumably their driver) entering the hospital. An LPR system can also signal an alert if a license plate number that’s been designated as suspicious or unauthorized by the police attempts to enter the hospital parking lot or garage. Once inside a hospital, several access control solutions should be put in place to manage who is coming and going. Video surveillance systems should, of course, also be used in conjunction with access control measures for added protection.
ZKTeco brings to market a broad product suite ideally suited for hospital security including Access Control Panels and Readers, Secure Relay Boxes, Prox Cards and Fobs, Advanced Access Control Management Software, Mobile Apps, Elevator Control Panels, Turnstiles, Metal Detectors . . . even drug cabinets from our partner Medixsafe.
Of particular importance to a hospital’s layered security program is our Visitor Authentication and Management System (VAMS®) – it closes up any possible gaps and ensures that visitors who enter a hospital are authorized to do so.
VAMS encompasses host and visitor mobile APPs, as well as tablet, kiosk & mobile and registration APPs. A security and real-time dashboard and monitoring module are included in the APP, as is biometric visitor registration for first time visitors. VAMS is a Web-based, two factor authentication solution that secures premises from fraudulent visitors while also securely compiling visitor data.
In our next blog, we will take a deep dive into the various technologies and solutions ideally suited to ensuring a hospitals’ security and safety, and your success as their trusted security provider.