More and more hospitals today are turning to an enterprise-level access control system to streamline their access control system, replace keys with access control cards and provide greater security through the facility. By replacing keys with access control credentials, healthcare security directors can improve the security of their pharmacies and data centers and gain immediate access to data of who accessed a specific area in the event of an incident. In addition, healthcare facilities are finding that there is a long-term cost savings by implementing access control for storage and supply closets, for example, eliminating the need to change locks and replace lost or stolen keys.
6. Make a long-term migration plan.
Since many healthcare facilities and hospitals do not have the financial resources to start from scratch with new security technologies — such as implementing all-new IP cameras and removing analog equipment — they need to clearly map out a technology migration strategy. This enables healthcare facilities to leverage the benefits of their legacy systems while moving towards newer technology. For those with tight budgets, it is important to invest the time and money to outline a multi-year plan that incorporates new surveillance equipment and access control capabilities. While the funds might not be available immediately to embark on a large-scale project, tackling a project in smaller increments is possible today thanks to hybrid security solutions that enable end-users to mix analog with IP.
7. Manpower is the key.
Does your facility have a two-man rule for contractors in place? If so, make sure your integrator has additional personnel at the ready or has budgeted staff accordingly to your project to ensure that when one technician is up the ladder, another is at the base. This policy will inevitably add manpower and labor costs to your project, so make sure this requirement is spelled out in any RFPs and contract documents as well as budgets for the project.
8. Find 24/7 integration service.
Since hospitals are a 24/7 business, systems integrators providing security services to this market need to be able to provide support in the same way. When selecting a systems integrator partner, make sure your provider offers adequate emergency coverage should your security systems need it.
9. Check your integrator’s background expertise.
When selecting a security partner, ask if the integration firm is a member of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (www.iahss.org) or ASIS Intl. (www.asisonline.org) Membership in these associations means that the integrator understands the challenges of this unique environment. The IAHSS is a professional organization comprised of both healthcare security directors and systems integrators and provides valuable continuing education and research as it relates to the healthcare security industry. ASIS provides specific resources relating to the healthcare security industry, but encompasses a broader base of security industry-specific information and certifications for security practitioners.
The right integration partner for specialized healthcare security work will offer that mix of vertical industry expertise, technology knowhow and design acumen that will ensure your security project meets your needs.