Download PDF version Contact company

Hospitals present a complex security challenge, in that they should always be welcoming public spaces. Indeed, in Sweden, many are ‘open’ during daylight hours. However, every hospital also has many sensitive assets that need securing around the clock.

Hospital Security

Key assets include patients, doctors, nurses and support staff. The protection of drugs and confidential patient data is critical. In labs, sensitive – even dangerous – research or testing materials demand constant monitoring. Valuable lab equipment is, unfortunately, a target for theft and vandalism.

Then there are the extra logistical challenges; hospitals are often large and spread out and locks may need to integrate with fire detection, CCTV and other security systems. Not all site users are equal: medical staff, cleaners, patients and their visitors and countless temporary and contract workers all need access tailored to their specific and very different needs. Labs with a steady flow of visitors and contractors are safer if access is managed with time-limited ‘keys’ that can be revoked or revalidated when required. In case of any security breach, a thorough investigation is essential. In fact, it is often mandated for regulatory compliance.

We expect too much of the traditional lock and key if we expect it to meet such a challenge. What is the alternative – especially at a time when European healthcare budgets are tight, even more so in taxpayer-funded institutions?

Wireless Access Control Solution

An access control system with wired doors and programmable RFID smartcards can solve many of these problems. However, conventional wisdom says access control is expensive and cannot be installed everywhere, due to the need for extensive cabling. The result? It only covers doors with very high security requirements. That needn’t be the case – if we cut the wires. Wireless locks are the most affordable way to extend access control throughout a site, greatly enhancing security for a small outlay.

What’s more, it does not require you to rip up the current security system and start again. Aperio® locks, for example, can easily ‘plug in’ to an existing access system, to bring monitored security to many more openings than would be possible with wired doors. They interoperate seamlessly with building management systems, linking wirelessly via a communications hub to the central system. Most importantly, they allow hospital managers to upgrade security and to give facility administrators more control over the premises – from monitoring pharmacy doors, to granting cleaners access only to their designated work areas, to revoking the access rights of any lost smartcard instantly.

Exterior And Interior Doors

Hospital door locks may need to integrate with fire detection, CCTV and other security systems
Aperio® wireless locking technology meets the security and budget requirements of the modern hospital

Critically from a compliance perspective, audit trails can be generated for any Aperio® lock, key or system user, at any time, making a proper investigation of any breach not just feasible, but straightforward. Aperio® components come in all shapes and sizes, for all kinds of hospital doors. The range includes locks, cylinders and escutcheons for wood, aluminum and glass doors. Aperio® can protect both exterior and interior doors, from certified fire and safety doors with mandatory security requirements to meeting and consulting rooms, labs, store rooms, offices and even server racks. The system can assign each a different level of security, if needed. Any installation can incorporate online or offline locks — or a mixture of both.

Cost Efficiency

These locks can be installed quickly, without changing door hardware. There are YouTube videos under the search ‘Time challenge Aperio® cylinder’ which depict a technician complete an installation, from start to finish, in under 2 minutes. No wiring and no cabling means there is no electrician required and so no need to pay decorators to tidy up afterwards. Maintenance simply involves changing a standard lithium-ion battery once every 2 years – that’s it.

Wireless locks are cheaper to run, too. Unlike wired locks, Aperio® wireless locks only ‘wake up’ when prompted by a credential. They are not connected to the mains and use no power when inactive. One wireless electronic lock uses approximately 0.001 kWh of energy per year. A standard wired lock and reader uses 55.2 kWh.

Further, because any lost credential can simply have its access rights revoked, there is no longer any need for the expensive, time-consuming process of changing the locks when someone loses a physical key. Audit trails can be generated at the touch of a button, another saving on the substantial cost – in both staff time and money – of administering a mechanical master-key system.

Aperio® locks can protect both exterior and interior doors and the system can assign each a different level of security

Wireless Access Control In Action

Securing hospitals wirelessly has gone beyond the concept stage: Aperio® is already deployed in European hospitals. For example, in Belgium, Hospital Maria Middelares is a vital part of Ghent’s health infrastructure. In partnership with Nedap, around 700 doors in a new hospital building which opened in 2014 have been fitted with Aperio® Offline locks connected to a Nedap AEOS access control system. The deployment is 100 percent wireless, maintaining design aesthetics in the new build. Staff now open doors and access secure areas with a single smartcard using MIFARE RFID technology.

As part of a £35 million refurbishment of A&E and other urgent care services, Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, England, sought an upgrade to its access control system. The trust needed flexible access control to streamline day-to-day security operations, extending public access while also maintaining restrictions to sensitive areas. They wanted a cost-effective, wire-free system, so installation could be done quickly and efficiently, without disrupting the day-to-day work of the hospital. ASSA ABLOY partnered with Grantfen and Inner Range to deliver a unified platform, which extended the Integriti access control system with ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio® wireless escutcheons.

Hospital Security Managers

It took a minimal outlay on Aperio® wireless locks to transform security at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble. Approximately 20 Aperio® Online cylinders and escutcheons were installed in hospital buildings. Previously, the open nature of the site had posed a significant risk of intrusion and stealing hospital property had become widespread, until Aperio® wireless access control drastically reduced theft from the premises. Aperio® Online technology also ensures hospital security managers can access building information in real time, even removing a swipe card’s permission remotely, if required.

In France, the UK, Belgium and elsewhere, Aperio® gives doctors and nurses controlled access tailored to their shift patterns or working hours. Facility managers have real-time status information about their premises, with online or offline integration protecting wards, clinics and management offices. Audit trails for sensitive areas, such as labs and rooms where drugs or medical records are kept, are available on demand and hospital managers can extend access control to new buildings or bring monitoring to more areas as and when required, without breaking the bank. The key to upgraded, cost-effective hospital security? Cut the wires.

For further information, please go to: www.assaabloy.co.uk/aperioforhospitals 

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control
Open Options Paves the Way for New Customers in Access Control

For more than 22 years, Open Options, Addison, Texas, has developed access control solutions that connect to leading security technologies to deliver a full-scale solution based on each customer’s unique needs. In 2018, Open Options was acquired by ACRE, which already owned the Vanderbilt and ComNet brands. To find out the latest, we interviewed Chuck O’Leary, President of Open Options. Q: It has been two and a half years since Open Options was acquired by ACRE. Briefly describe that transition and how the company is stronger today because of it. O’Leary: The ACRE transition really focused on integrating our access control solution, DNA Fusion, with Vanderbilt Industries technologies in order to further our reach in the market and enhance our portfolios. With their support, we have been able to accelerate innovations and expand our global reach. Overall, it has been a great experience to be a part of the ACRE organization, and it has opened the doors to new opportunities for us both here in the states and globally.  Q: What is "Connect Care" and how does it benefit integrators and/or end user customers? O’Leary: For those unfamiliar with the world of access control, it can often be a little overwhelming when first introduced; however, we strive to make our products as easy to use and intuitive as possible, with Connect Care being no different. Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market Connect Care is a system that has been specifically designed to create the most connected experience in the security market. It serves as a 24/7 bridge from our customers to services like technical support, platform support, professional services, and training. By providing these options for our customers, we can better empower them with the knowledge and expertise of our DNA Fusion access control system and ensure their success with the product.  Q: Who are the new customers entering the market for access control systems in the wake of the pandemic, and how should they be approached/managed differently? O’Leary: Over the last year, there has been a huge demand for access control systems as remote work increased due to COVID-19, and even now, as employees and students are heading back into the offices and schools. Organizations are realizing that having an outdated security system is no longer robust enough for the rapid advancement of technology that we witnessed over the course of the pandemic, and really the past few years. For those who are just dipping their toe into a new access control deployment, the most important thing they can do is to search for a provider who has a solution that is easily integrated, scalable, and provides excellent training and resources. Q: Define the term "touchless access control" and explain why it is gaining a higher profile in the post-pandemic world. O’Leary: The interesting thing about access control is that it has almost always been touchless. Many organizations are looking for robust solutions that are touchless and can be utilized remotely, and it's fairly easy to understand why a solution like this would become widely popular because of COVID-19. Integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizationsThe process of using access control to streamline security infrastructures is not a new concept by any means, but due to the rapid development in technology over the past few years, more integrators are searching for access control systems that will serve as a proper solution for organizations, while still supplying the touchless and remote-based features. Q: What do you see as the future course of the changing technology trends we see in today's market (such as mobile credentials, cloud-based systems, cybersecurity, etc.)? O’Leary: As we continue to tread through the different technological developments in the market today, we are noticing that mobile credentials and biometrics are becoming increasingly popular. As cybersecurity and mobility continue to become more important, we are also seeing the rapid jump to the cloud. By utilizing cloud-based systems, an organization is not hindered by a lack of storage or old software and gains the flexibility to scale their security system as their business grows. Q: How will the access control market look different five years from now versus today? What about 10 years from now? O’Leary: Within the next five years, I suspect that access control will continue to make the move towards cloud-based systems and utilize mobile credentials and biometrics. In 10 years, I think all access control will be open platform and many more organizations will embrace cloud solutions for increased functionality. Also, innovations will continue to be the drivers behind new deployments with some installations being biometrics only and include recognizing fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition, and voice. Q: What is the biggest challenge currently facing the access control market, and how should manufacturers (including Open Options) be addressing the challenge? O’Leary: One of the biggest challenges facing the physical access control market is organizations actually making the shift to more up-to-date access control systems. Organizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiencesOrganizations are looking to adopt more digital-focused access control experiences — ones that are focused on integration, newer features, cybersecurity, and ease of monitoring. Access control manufacturers should be addressing this challenge by creating integratable, scalable systems that are easily managed and provide a structured, streamlined approach for an organization’s security infrastructure. Q: What is the biggest misconception about access control? O’Leary: Access control is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and some organizations might have different standards or assets that need protection. This is why it's vital to know the risks your organization faces when speaking with access control providers — to ensure the best possible outcome for your specific needs. It's important to remember that whatever access control system is chosen should proactively mitigate any risks, be easily taught to and successfully used by employees, and be scalable with your organization. No matter the line of work, a proper access control system should streamline the security infrastructure and lessen stress on the security team and employees.

Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control
Automatic Gates – The Latest Development In Access Control

Automatic gates remain an increasingly popular security choice for family homes, business premises or public buildings – anywhere that full control over access is needed. While there is much to consider for installers when advising clients on the right solution for their property, from the size, weight and cost of a gate system, it’s useful to be aware of the latest developments in the market, as this can help to find the right option to fit their needs. The need for speed Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open, and there are many factors to take into consideration, when advising on which option to use. However, swing gate motors tend to be slower than the speeds achievable for sliding gates, which means the latter are usually more popular, especially for commercial sites where timing can be among the more important factors. One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors One of the most recent developments in the sliding gates market is the introduction of faster motors, such as those from Bft Automation, which allow for opening and closing at a quicker speed than has previously been achievable. Fast authorized access control From a security point of view, the ability to allow people and goods in and out of a property at a quicker pace reduces the risk of unauthorized entry, while waiting for a gate to close – an important consideration in both commercial and residential contexts. Other benefits of a faster motor include reduced waiting times. This can be particularly useful for properties in busy areas, where a vehicle could risk blocking traffic, while waiting to turn into a site controlled by a slower gate. Faster motors Also, a faster motor could potentially reduce the risk of an accident from vehicles entering a property at speed. For example, this might happen if someone was making their first visit to a property situated off a fast road in an unfamiliar area. Beyond these practical considerations, in today’s fast-paced world, people aren’t as used to having to wait for things and this applies to the time it takes to get in and out of their own property. So, security benefits aside, faster motors are likely to be more appealing for clients who have sliding gates fitted to their domestic property and who prioritize convenience. The choice of which of the new faster motors to use will be impacted by a number of factors, including the weight of the gates. Essentially, the lighter the gate is the higher the speed achievable. And, as always, it’s important to make sure that any installation complies with safety regulations. Intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems A further development in access control technology includes intelligent torque management systems, which update the level of torque required to perform the gate’s operation, allowing it to work at the optimum level, regardless of weather conditions, temperature or the degree of wear and tear on the device. Depending on the typical weather conditions experienced at the site and the anticipated frequency of use, it’s worth looking at options that take these factors into account. Importance of security rights In some scenarios, it’s important for particular individuals to have security rights. In which case, there are motors available that come with personalized keys, which are unique, providing an additional level of security. Installers often face the challenge of fitting gate motors in confined spaces, potentially making for a time consuming and technically demanding task. Available space When you only have a small space to work with, simple details can go a long way to helping you. For example, by putting the fastening screws on the front of a motor’s casing, installation and maintenance are easier and more convenient, even in particularly compact areas. Working with suppliers that offer more than just a manual means you’ll have access to advice and support on how new products work in practice and what you need to consider before advising on an installation.

What Are The Security Challenges Of Public Events?
What Are The Security Challenges Of Public Events?

Large public events were out of the question during the depths of the pandemic. However, public events are likely to experience a resurgence along with a more optimistic outlook in the coming months. In addition, there will likely be pent-up enthusiasm for these events among individuals weary from months of isolation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of public events planners in 2021?