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Hospitals are constantly bustling with activity. Since they are often open to the public 24/7, they have a uniquely high amount of foot traffic throughout the day. This, combined with the fact that hospitals store a variety of sensitive materials (e.g., patient documents, pharmaceuticals, expensive technology, etc.), makes it a priority for hospitals to have advanced and thorough access control systems.
Access control systems regulate and monitor the use of access points into, out of, and throughout the facilities in which they are installed. The lifeblood of the access control system is the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) proximity card working in tandem with card readers stationed at every relevant access point in the facility. Each employee in the facility is issued an RFID proximity card (that often doubles as their employee ID) equipped with unique credentials that correspond to each individual employee, respectively. As such, only users with valid RFID proximity cards can use access points protected with proximity card readers.
General & Differentiated Security
There are many places within hospitals that only employees should have access to (e.g., parking lots, break rooms, etc.), but hospitals also have many different secure locations that not every employee should have access to. These include (but are not limited to):
Clearly, not every employee should be able to access all of these locations in a hospital. For example, janitors should not have access to pharmaceutical storage, and general nurses shouldn’t have access to MRI machines. Access control systems can solve these issues by establishing different security requirements for each of these locations, and then simply programming each employee’s RFID proximity card with the applicable clearance level. Doing so ensures that each branch of the hospital is secure and that employees only have access to their respective branches.
Access to Expensive Technology
Access control systems go beyond mere physical access, however; they also enable administrators to protect against the unauthorized use of expensive machinery and technology. This is accomplished by securing the relevant equipment with a card deader in such a way that employees must scan a valid RFID proximity card before being able to operate that piece of equipment. As such, a hospital can implement access control in such a way that only radiologists, for example, have access to X-Ray machinery. Moreover, access control software enables administrators to monitor which employees use what machinery and when, which further prevents against theft and other misuses of hospital equipment.
Removal of Touchpoints
Hospitals often contain a multitude of immunocompromised patients, as well as patients with severely contagious diseases. As such, mitigating the spread of germs is a top priority in hospitals. Fortunately, as their name implies, RFID proximity cards utilize a special type of technology that allows the user to interact with the card reader without actually touching the reader. Moreover, access control systems can implement electronic door openers that open doors as soon as a valid RFID proximity card is scanned, thereby removing the need for employees to touch doorhandles, mitigating the spread of germs.
Not only do access control systems allow users to obtain access with a mere wave of a RFID proximity card, but access control software also enables the administrators to monitor which employees access which locations and when. Moreover, administrators can alter security clearance and even deactivate RFID proximity cards by simply using a computer. As such, access control systems allow hospitals and other large organizations with a plethora of security concerns to manage all of theirs security needs conveniently from one place.
Hospitals have a uniquely large number of vulnerabilities. As such, they require security systems that can handle large amounts of traffic, that incorporate a variety of clearance levels, and that allow administrators to monitor and control the system from one place. Access control systems (incorporating both RFID proximity cards and card readers) offer solutions to these unique needs and are clearly the best choice for hospital security.