Healthcare is the primary focus of our daily lives across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting a further spotlight on the efficiency, effectiveness, flaws, and future of hospital operations. A key factor of hospital and other healthcare facility operations is security, especially now. Hospitals and healthcare facilities always have to be vigilant about security, but in what ways have those efforts been focused during recent months? The biggest security concerns hospitals and healthcare facilities face today during coronavirus are:
Reducing contact spread of viruses
Creating a more efficient workflow under increased demands and scrutiny
Managing the flow of hospital staff
Optimizing automated vehicle and people access control
The need for touchless technology
Preventing theft, especially during peak hours of distraction
Furthermore, these security and access control concerns and priorities are not simply for the front entrance, or the emergency entrance, but facility wide. And by facility wide this includes, but is not limited to areas such as:
All entrances and exists to buildings, grounds, parking structures, car parks, and facilities
Office areas, emergency rooms, nursing stations, treatment centers, clinics, operating rooms, procedure rooms, operating rooms, morgues, patient wards
Pharmacies, drug storage areas, records storage, store rooms, laundry facility
Public areas, reception, lobbies, hallways, cafeterias, kitchens, retail areas
Perimeter and parking lots
This is a massive undertaking for any facility if the security is outdated or not properly integrated. There are three main areas where a hospital or other healthcare facility can improve which will substantially enhance and streamline ongoing security efforts. Let's take a look at those areas and delve in to some details.
#1: Touch-Free Access Control
Two of the easiest and most common ways to spread viruses, bacteria, and other health-affecting contamination is through droplets spread person to person and touching surfaces that have been contaminated by droplets spread by coughing, sneezing, or touching another surface and spreading to other surfaces. Where the industry is at today, there is really no need for doors to be operated manually except in emergency situations. Technology is available for fully-automated, touch-free access control from the parking lot all the way to the operating room. Long Range RFID is an exciting solution worth serious consideration!
Long Range RFID can be a complete solution all enabled from a card that activates special readers located virtually anywhere a facility needs it, including the parking lot. A staff member can literally go from their vehicle all through the entire facility where they have access priviledges without needing to touch a single keypad, door, or handle. In fact, with Long Range RFID systems the objective is to have access granted seamlessly without even needing to swipe or manually scan an access control card since with a long range cability detection can be done without the user having to do anything but wear the device.
For example, HID Global's iCLASS SE® U90 Long Range Reader offers an extended range solution for parking and gate control. The iCLASS SE® U90 Long Range Reader features advanced encryption technology, delivering the most secure ultra-high frequency (UHF) access control on the market. With a read range of up to five meters, iCLASS SE® U90 can securely read both single UHF and support a mixed UHF/iCLASS credential migration population. The ability to combine building access with parking and gate control on a single card or fob offers both convenience and security.
Convenient – Discreet hands-free authentication solution for long range parking and gate control
Dynamic – Field configurable via a full user interface for ease of maintenance
Compliant – Supports UHF ISO 18000-6C compliant credentials containing Secure Identity Object® (SIO®) encryption technology
Powerfully Secure – Encryption of card data through controller, enabling secure end-to-end communications
#2: Better Security Cameras
It's not always about having more cameras. If a facility invests in better, more versatile, wider view cameras they can use fewer and have more reliable and efficient results. For instance, choosing higher resolution panoramic cameras rather than many lower end cameras. With the current IP camera technology views can be seen from 180-, 270-, and even 360-degrees.
In addition to better view angles, the range of sensors available on security cameras cuts costs further and enhances efficiency. For instance, with the rising incidents of violence in hospitals and healthcare facilities, cameras which can pan, tilt, and zoom virtually within the picture frame to target an incident either in real time or retrospectively to help identify problem areas or threats to the safety and security of visitors, patients, staff, and medical personnel.
Another outstanding feature of some 360-degree cameras is 360-degree analytics that are built right into the camera itself. With 360-degree analytics the data gleaned can:
help monitor traffic patterns
streamline hospital operations
increase response times
provide overall general business intelligence for hospital administrators on ways they can improve operations and management of these facilities
provide patient tracking
assist in the defense against liability claims
With analytics, the sky is practically the limit regarding learning from the data as to how to better serve patients, staff, and guests.
For example, the Hikvision 12 MP In-Ceiling Fisheye Network Camera featuring:
360° 0-blind zone image, a fisheye network camera capable of providing a 360 degree panoramic image of its surveillance scene
Multi dewarping modes, the image can be dewarped to normal image to view intuitively
Build-in mic and speaker, it supports two-way audio to realize real-time security by hearing sound and speaking through the camera
In-ceiling mounting makes the fisheye camera unnoticeable and user friendly
With up to 12 MP high resolution lens, the image is very clear even dewarped into 4 PTZ images
#3: Streamlined, Centralized Platform for Security Management
But, having an outstanding touch-free access control system and excellent cameras with built in analytics might have all the potential to elevate any healthcare facility to the next level of security and efficiency but will never realize their full potential if the security management system is all over the place and being managed in multiple, disconnected pieces. Centralization and streamling of the overall management hub is critical.
Your video event management software needs to be fully integrated with your access control software and the overall security system of the facility as well so that all components can "talk" and work together to give management the full picture. Technology today can integrate older components with newer components into one system in many cases, and when an aspect of the system is so old that it can not be integrated it's long past due an update. Hospitals and medical facilities of any kind are subject to huge liability because they are high risk environments with the type of technology deployed to diagnose and treat patients, the massive quantities of highly controlled pharmaceuticals on site that must be locked down, patients coming in with highly contagious viruses driving a need to be extremely careful about sanitation, and increasing cases of violence. It just makes sense to be fully integrated.
For example, the S2 Netbox access control and event monitoring system featuring web-based access control and event monitoring system that supports up to 32 portals. Features such as person record and cardholder management, event and alarm monitoring, threat level escalation and reporting are accessible from any web browser. Furthermore, there is no software to install. The system works with existing infrastructure and peripheral devices, making it easy to deploy.
S2 NetBox is flexible and scalable
supports up to seven application blades and up to 32 S2 Nodes
tightly integrates with S2 NetVR series video management systems, providing unified system management and administration
integration with third party video management systems is also supported
In addition, S2 NetBox serves a range of applications from small businesses to field offices of large enterprises. As organizations grow, migration to S2 NetBox Extreme is seamless. Large, distributed enterprises can also centrally manage multiple S2 NetBox controllers with S2 Global.
GenX Security Solutions is a licensed, certified integrator of the best brands in security, fire, and access control. Experience the next generation of interactive security solutions with a free quote at www.genXsecurity.com or by calling us at 866-598-4369.
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