Designing, installing and maintaining the openings in a health-care facility are no simple tasks. Whether it is meeting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines, assuring patients and staff safety or securing sensitive areas, hospital facility managers and security professionals are being forced to re-examine their access control procedures and systems.
By providing medical facility managers with tools to making their centers more secure in a more convenient manner, security systems integrators can increase their sales to health-care organizations. Highlighting the following six areas will help integrators secure increased business.
1. Emphasize Standardization
Consolidation is a huge trend for hospitals and health-care systems as they look for ways to cut costs and run more efficiently. Standardizing on solutions from a single provider will ensure that medical health-care facility managers have more control over their openings. Standardization provides more efficiency during installation and maintenance activities and ensures smoother performance of the selected electronic access control and electrified door hardware. In addition, standardization creates a more streamlined purchasing process that rewards hospitals with increased productivity
Another thing that can add efficiencies and value for both the integrator and hospital is the choice of open-architecture devices. If an access control system is already in place, but does not control all of the openings required to be effective, there are a number of open-architecture solutions that are compatible with most legacy systems. This enables easily integrating with the existing access system to increase the security on more openings in the facility.
Security professionals in health-care applications can choose the specific electronic lock they need currently with full confidence the reader or communication technology can be later upgraded without ever taking it off the door. Such applications often use locking systems that combine the electrified lock, reader, door position and REX switches together into one device. These electronic locks provide options to truly customize the access control solution, quickly migrate to meet future needs, provide seamless integration with current software now and later, and have a lower cost of ownership.
2. Get Smart With Credentials
Today, a smart credential, at about the same price as a proximity card, provides a higher level of security, more convenience and far greater functionality. Used at health-care centers, smart credentials have the ability to manage access, payments and many other functions much more securely.
In comparison to door keys, magnetic stripe cards or proximity cards, the encrypted security of smart credentials ensures that they are far harder to counterfeit. It is not possible to put a dollar amount on the potential damage a health-care organization could suffer by unauthorized individuals gaining access to restricted areas of the facility. By issuing the staff ID cards with strong authentication mechanisms, health-care providers are effectively investing in their well being.
Issuing only one smart credential also impacts administrative costs. Not only is the cost of a single credential lower than purchasing multiple forms of ID, but the reduced management and distribution time for one credential will have a significant impact on productivity.
Choosing the right smart card credential can make all the difference when trying to use them with applications other than access control. Look for platforms that are open format rather than those designed for proprietary systems. Open formats allow easy integration into other applications with minimal programming, speeding up the time of deployment, reducing the cost of implementation and giving health-care organizations more freedom to get the most out of their investment.
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