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Hospital Access Control Systems: Keeping Your Facility Safe

In our ever-growing technologically advanced world, access control systems are essential for the safety of hospitals. Let's find out why and how!

Hospital Access Control Systems: Keeping Your Facility Safe

In our ever-growing, technologically advanced world, access control systems are essential for the safety of hospitals. Let's find out why and how!

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are unique when it comes to security. These types of buildings need to be able to control access to certain areas for various reasons.

There are sensitive areas that must be restricted to prevent the spreading of contagious diseases, tracking, and theft prevention when it comes to babies, equipment, and drugs, and the protection of patients that are left vulnerable.

For the most comprehensive healthcare security solutions, you must turn to professionals.

Defining Access Control Systems for Hospital Security

Access control systems for hospital security refer to a network of integrated tools designed to secure and monitor the restricted areas of a healthcare facility. They include physical building access control systems, such as locks and entry barriers, and electronic methods, such as CCTV surveillance and multi-factor authentication systems.

The goal is to protect people, property, and hospital records from unauthorized intrusion, vandalism, and theft. A hospital can maintain a secure environment by restricting access to certain areas and controlling the movement of people and property. This allows for more efficient management and greater peace of mind for the hospital staff, patients, and visitors.

Key Card Entry Systems

Advanced Electronic Access Control Solutions for Hospitals

Hospitals rely heavily on stringent security policies because of the different areas in these healthcare facilities.

Access controls have evolved greatly, from security teams checking name tags to computerized security systems and access control methods that grant certain staff members access to restricted areas.

A medical facility security system is incomplete without the correct access-control reader to protect sensitive areas such as intensive care units, maternity wards, emergency departments, and pharmacies.

To adequately secure a healthcare facility, it is essential that the advanced electronic access control system matches the security system section by section since every hospital department has special security requirements; this is an important point to consider when building a hospital security system.

Since hospitals are multi-department facilities, with the bigger hospitals even having off-site campus locations, a controlled system with enhanced security features, such as limiting access to certain areas, is critical to ensure only the right healthcare professionals can enter.

However, these electronic access control systems must allow authorized personnel secure access to move freely from department to department and campus to campus whilst also considering staff and volunteers in the process.

— Key Card Entry Systems

Key card readers are a great way to control access to restricted areas and allow staff, patients, and visitors to roam within the confines granted to them with the specific key card. Access key cards are an inexpensive and convenient way to control areas within a hospital. Swipe card access is an invaluable tool for healthcare facilities and is commonly used in hospitals worldwide.

— Keypad Readers with Passcodes

Keypad hospital access control systems can be helpful in hospital areas such as break rooms or janitorial storage facilities. However, they pose a severe risk if used in sensitive hospital areas.

Passcodes can be easily shared; therefore, this is not a good solution for a high-risk area that can invite criminal activities, such as hospital wards, pharmaceutical storage cabinets, and any department that mustn’t allow free access to potential threats.

— Biometric Access Control

Biometric access control uses iris or fingerprint reading technologies to grant authorized personnel access to highly sensitive areas such as medical research labs, surgery rooms, and storage rooms that house sensitive equipment and supplies.

However, an issue can arise during a crisis or an emergency where the person with the security clearance is not there to open the door or is incapacitated.

healthcare access control

— Combined Security Systems

Combined security centralizes and integrates access control, video surveillance, alarm systems, and more, creating a safer and more secure environment for patients, staff, and any assets.

It enables improved monitoring, quicker incident response, and more cost-efficient operations. This helps decrease and manage security resource allotment, optimizing a healthcare organization’s overall security.

Consolidating multiple security components into one solution, combined security systems provide maximum coverage while significantly lowering equipment, maintenance, and other associated costs.

With this system, healthcare organizations can positively impact the safety of patients, staff, assets, and overall security with minimal resource allocation and cost.

— Cloud-based Access Control Systems

Access-controlled installation for hospitals can solve an ever-growing and timely problem.

Cloud-based off-site access control management can help hospital administrators find the right combination and integrate the appropriate access control solution for each hospital's department, wing, or campus.

With the rise of the Internet of Things, cloud-based technology is a tool that can serve hospitals and healthcare facilities to enhance, upgrade and maintain the highest level of service for staff, patients, and visitors alike.

What Are the Average Implementation Costs for Various Types of Access Control Systems?

Hospitals have long faced the challenge of efficiently and securely controlling access to their buildings, medical records, and other sensitive resources and areas.

The table below offers valuable information to assist hospitals in choosing the best access control systems for their needs. From budgeting and resource allocation to optimizing security, a comparative overview enables hospitals to allocate resources better and optimize their security infrastructure.

By picking the right system and understanding the average implementation costs, hospitals can improve the security and safety of their facilities while protecting staff, patients, and visitors.

Access Control System Hardware Cost (Average) Software Cost (Average) Installation Cost (Average) Maintenance Cost (Annual Average) Recurring Fees (Annual Average)
Key Card Entry Systems $1,500 - $3,000 $500 - $1,000 $500 - $1,000 $300 - $600 $100 - $300
Keypad Readers with Passcodes $500 - $1,000 $200 - $500 $300 - $800 $200 - $400 $50 - $100
Biometric Access Control $2,000 - $4,000 $1,000 - $2,000 $800 - $1,500 $400 - $800 $100 - $500
Combined Security Systems $3,000 - $6,000 $1,500 - $3,000 $1,000 - $2,000 $500 - $1,000 $200 - $400
Cloud-based Access Control Systems $2,500 - $5,000 $1,000 - $2,500 $800 - $1,500 $400 - $800 $100 - $300

Key Components of an Effective Access Control System for Hospitals

As mentioned, many hospital access control systems are suitable for a medical facility setting. Overall, an effective access control system should provide:

  • Secure physical access: Installing locks and other security hardware, such as video surveillance and auto-locking doors, ensures that only admitted patients and those with proper authorization can enter the premises.  
  • Controlled access to confidential patient data: Access should be limited to authorized personnel only, and access levels should be set so that personnel can only access the specific information they require to do their job.  
  • Limited access to hazardous materials: Access to hazardous materials, biological waste, and medication should be limited to personnel with the necessary training and authorization, and logs should be kept to track who accesses these materials.  
  • Proper authentication of personnel: Access cards, pin codes, and other means of identification ensure that only those with the necessary authorization can access the premises and confidential patient data.

Benefits of Security Systems for Healthcare Facilities

1. Enhanced Security with Hospital Access Control Systems

Access control systems can track the movement of staff, patients, and visitors throughout the hospital. This allows only authorized personnel to access restricted areas, ensuring that sensitive areas are kept locked and secure.

In addition, they provide a stricter level of control over who can access sensitive patient information, with the ability to assign different levels of access to other users. The added security and controlled access keep hospitals safe from possible thefts and break-ins while ensuring that confidential patient information is never available to unauthorized individuals.

Combined with other security measures, hospital access control systems vastly improve hospital security.

2. Real-Time Monitoring and Surveillance with Access Control Systems

Access control systems rely heavily on cybersecurity, cryptographic authentication, and biometric facial or fingerprint recognition to identify individuals and restrict access. The systems can also be integrated with video surveillance, which helps security personnel get real-time alerts when potential security breaches are detected.

In addition to the peace of mind they afford, hospital access control systems also provide detailed records and data logging of events, providing greater oversight of access to premises by understanding who has accessed a restricted area and when.

implementing access control

3. Streamlined Data Collection with Access Control Systems

For starters, having all the access information collected in one location makes it easier to monitor in real-time and access and report on in the future. With access control systems, hospitals can benefit from improved accuracy of information, as data is inputted into one repository and can be quickly and easily updated and distributed.

Furthermore, healthcare access control systems enable hospitals to easily integrate information with other hospital systems, like HR and patient management systems, to create a more comprehensive view of operations.

This unified system has various purposes, from monitoring hospital staff movement to scheduling patient appointments and tracking equipment. Access control systems give healthcare organizations an easy and effective tool for managing information and streamlining data collection.

4. Improved Safety Measures with Access Control Systems in Hospitals

These systems track users who gain access to the facility, with cards or codes used to allow access at different levels. By limiting individual entries, access control systems can restrict access to sensitive areas within a hospital, allowing only those with the appropriate clearance to gain access.

Real-time alerts can be sent to security personnel when the system detects an unauthorized attempt at entry, enabling a quick and effective response. This is especially important in operating theaters and patient rooms, which require a high level of security.

5. Effective Alarm Systems for Hospital Security with Access Control Systems

Access control alarm systems in hospitals have become increasingly common to open and close access points such as doors, elevators, and hallways. Hospitals can configure the access control system to send notifications through multiple channels, set up geographical scanning zones, or utilize two-factor authentication to grant door access.

Tailored security solutions help hospitals anticipate and guard against potential threats, allowing staff to respond quickly and confidently. This enables healthcare organizations to create comprehensive security solutions that address their unique and ever-evolving security needs.

6. The Value of Upgrades for Hospital Access Control Systems

Modern healthcare access control systems are designed to provide robust security solutions that take advantage of advanced technologies.

Hospitals must keep access control systems up-to-date to comply with healthcare regulations and protect staff, patients, and information from security breaches. Upgrading these systems also helps to reduce potential penalties imposed by authorities for non-compliance.

With up-to-date hospital access control systems, hospitals can take advantage of features that enable higher security and better protection for staff and data.

Considerations When Implementing Access Control Systems

Biometric Access Control

1. Understanding Your Hospital's Security Requirements

Security requirements in a hospital can vary based on the size, services, and scope of the hospital, but the basic provisions remain the same:

  • Access control: Establishing proper healthcare access control systems to ensure that only authorized personnel are allowed into the facility and locking all entrances and exits.  
  • Surveillance systems: Establishing reliable surveillance systems such as cameras and alarm systems to protect patients, visitors, and staff.
  • IT security: IT security measures include strong password encryption and firewalls to protect sensitive data.  
  • Physical security: Installing security devices such as locks, doors, windows, guards, and gates to monitor and protect both people and equipment.  
  • Training and education: Educating staff and volunteers on security threats and procedures and providing them with the opportunity to practice relevant security drills.  
  • Monitoring systems: Alarm systems linked to a monitoring system, such as a central alarm station, can alert staff to security threats.

2. Identifying Security Threats in Hospitals

Hospitals should also be aware of physical threats such as theft or vandalism of equipment or stolen laboratory specimens. Access control systems can help provide protection against these healthcare threats by managing, tracking, and monitoring who enters and exits the facility.

Such systems provide an audit trail of events, such as changes in user privileges or access to confidential information. By implementing access control systems, hospitals can prevent unwanted persons from entering restricted areas, such as confidential patient records, medical laboratories, or surgery rooms.

Finally, providing secure access control reduces the time it takes to identify and contain a breach should one occur.

3. Assessing the Effectiveness of Current Hospital Security Measures

As leading security planners and system installers, we recommend the following when reviewing security systems:

  • Conduct a risk assessment: Consider physical security, network and data security, personnel issues, and any other sites criminals could target.
  • Identify weak spots: Look for any weak spots in the hospital’s security measures, such as doors that don’t lock properly, inadequate training for security personnel, or cameras that don’t provide the coverage needed.
  • Test existing security measures: Gather data on the effectiveness of the hospital’s security measures, such as incident reports, surveys of staff and visitors, and security footage.
  • Review incident reports: Look for patterns that can be used to identify areas that need further attention.  
  • Evaluate new measures: When new security measures are introduced, compare the results to older systems to determine which is most effective.  
  • Update policies and procedures: Update security policies and procedures as needed to ensure they are up-to-date and relevant to current threats.
  • Educate staff: Ensure that all staff are informed of the security measures in place and their responsibilities for helping keep the hospital secure. Provide regular security drills, training, and updates.

Enhance Your Security with a Hospital Access Control System Integration by Forbel Alarms

Hospitals should prioritize security to protect patients and staff. An effective healthcare access control system can achieve this by controlling who has access to certain areas.

Forbel Alarms offers real-time tracking and monitoring capabilities to help protect healthcare organizations and facilities from potential security threats. Hospitals can benefit from enhanced security, improved visibility, and better environmental control by integrating an access control system.

Contact Forbel Alarms today to explore your options and improve your hospital security.


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Dzmitry Beliayeu
Dzmitry Beliayeu

Dzmitry Beliayeu is a commercial building security expert, technology consultant, and licensed alarm contractor

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