Robust security systems are a must for any health care facility, not just for patients’ safety but also for staff and expensive medical equipment. This has become all the more significant of late, as hospitals look to expand their reach and provide round-the-clock service.
Common threats to counter in health care
Identifying the common threats and concerns is the first step to providing the best solution. There is a long list of threats — theft, vandalism, property damage, sabotage, kidnapping. the internal organization is also at risk: there are drivers like understaffing as well as ill-treatment of patients and legal claims.
Physical security threats can be difficult to combat because of the modern hospital’s typically large campus size and often geographically dispersed nature of many facilities. It’s also difficult to support secure access from affiliated doctors who may work with many different institutions, requiring them to carry multiple badges for all the locations they visit.
Managing visitors to the hospital
Even if precautions are taken to counter issues such as unauthorized access, managing visitors is a sensitive issue. Solutions like video analytics assist in
operations such as parking management.
Visitors are a challenge — some may pose a threat, all must be protected, and the challenge is more difficult during ‘after hours’ periods and in critical areas such as labor and delivery floors and pediatric wards. On the information security side, threats to patient privacy take many forms, and safeguards must extend to electronically prescribed medications, as well.
What’s the right security solution in this vertical?
Video security offers the possibility to monitor automatically or manually what needs to be seen for preventive and repressive measures. But this could only solve part of the problem. Stromberg believes that threats can mainly be countered by an access control system that provides a sense of safety and the confidence of knowing that only authorized personnel are on the premises.
The latest solutions support many access control applications on the same smart card, from access control
for the parking lot, main door, emergency room, and pharmacy to visual ID verification, time-and-attendance, payroll transactions, and cafeteria purchases.They also enable the integration of visitor management systems to optimize badging efficiency as part of a complete solution that supports real-time patient feeds and Health Level Seven International (HL7) integration.
Innovations in access control technology
Of late, access control systems have also been developed to deliver the ability to “tap” in and out of computer applications, reducing the need for complex passwords in healthcare environments where staff often needs to make 20 or more logins each day to access the facility’s enterprise data and services.
With new systems, a user simply taps his or her ID card to a laptop, tablet, phone or other NFC
-enabled device to access network resources, cloud apps and web-based services. There is also the added benefit of being able to use the same card that opens doors to access data and cloud-based applications.
In short, tap authentication improves user convenience for opening doors and accessing data, while helping hospitals align information security and safety, meet compliance needs, and ensuring patients’ privacy.
It’s not just about the availability of solutions, but their affordability that matters in the health care industry.
One way to economically increase security or add security to more openings is to use wireless electronic locks, which are easier and less expensive to install than traditional wired devices, and provide more control and visibility to the security at these openings.
Another way to consider the economic aspect could be looking at the operational improvements that these solutions offer beyond security itself. video surveillance systems
are not just for security, but also help to optimize the health care process.
Features like live transmission of medical procedures or recordings offer additional interesting medical applications for example for training purposes or to consult specialists who are not on site.
A crucial point about providing security solutions in health care facilities is understanding the different kinds of activities that go on in different departments of a hospital and the their subsequent security requirements.
Hospitals in urban areas requiring special attention in the trauma/emergency care areas, among other measures.
Different medical divisions have different security requirements
Emergency department are of a crucial important. Active assailant situations, domestic or gang incidents are often brought into the emergency department, and patient/family violence against staff members are common. While the hope is to stop violence before it happens or escalates, these incidents may be contained and controlled with the proper security lockdown procedures and processes.
By using real-time access control solutions such as an access control system with credential readers, wireless electronic locks, panic buttons, and other components, it’s possible to restrict access to other departments of the facility and keep patients and staff safe.
Imagine a high-security area of a forensic facility where mentally ill offenders with immense criminal potential are treated. If one of these persons escapes, the consequences can be fatal. An effective early warning protection system is needed, like our professional thermal imaging cameras combined with our intelligent video analysis system.
Such a system would detect any unusual movement around buildings or windows, in total darkness, rain or snow and without the need for additional lighting. Analysis algorithms can detect the size, speed, and direction of movement of an object and alert the monitoring control center in real time. Video motion detection can also be applied indoors, ideally with IR-LED equipped cameras which need no additional lighting at night.
The global demand for health care security solutions is expected to grow further. unlike several other verticals, the health care industry is actively investing in security infrastructure for both continuous renovations of existing buildings and to protect new constructions.
Source: asmag Magasine