Kent-based installation company NT Security has implemented door controllers from Access Control Technology (ACT) at the King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London.
NT Security were able to offer the trust a role-based solution by creating a relationship between an individual's job profile and their privileges in terms of moving around the hospital. The approach was open and transparent since it used existing third-party readers already on site. The ACT controllers also met a vital client requirement in that where necessary they can work off-line without a network connection.
Over 500 doors at the hospital have been fitted with the ACTpro 3000 controllers. These two-door controllers are expandable to accommodate 16 doors using ACTpro door stations. Up to 2,000 doors can be connected on a network and the system can be used with 'Clock & Data' and 'Wiegand' format readers.
Andy Purves, Managing Director of NT Security, said: "Hospitals have a constant flow of patients, staff and visitors where urgency associated with admission may conflict with the need to document entrance and egress. This may slow down movement but is vital to security and can be part of a delicate balancing act for facility managers."
The trust provides a full range of local services for 700,000 people in south-east London. King's is recognised internationally for research into liver disease and operates the largest liver transplantation programme in Europe.
The hospital works closely with police on security matters and initially NT Security received an enquiry from the Metropolitan Police on a specific problem. Andy Purvis continued: "After we addressed immediate police concerns it became apparent that the legacy access control system could not meet current needs. Managers required functionality that would enable them to distinguish between levels of seniority within the medical and administrative workforces, areas of practice for clinicians (which could change weekly) and even simple criteria such as gender and likely hours of work."
Staff cards had to contain precise information on job description, responsibilities and seniority while the access control supplier needed to create a hierarchy of privileges and allow for growth and continuing alterations. The trust currently receives 150 requests a day for changes of access rights and has a permanent member of staff implementing these. A recent activity audit on the ACTWin pro software reported that 50 million transactions (this being anything that is recorded on the system) had been carried out over six months.
The ACT controllers used at King's feature a memory card slot that facilitates distributed intelligence, door plan and additional user rights. The units have built-in TCP/IP connectivity, meaning that installers can 'piggyback' on existing conduit which reduces engineering disruption. Minimising contractor activity is desirable anywhere but crucial at a facility where clinical procedures in sterile conditions can be compromised by engineering activity.
The flexibility of the ACT controllers is endorsed by the fact that currently the Trust has approximately 10,000 staff, all of whom use cards from the legacy system. Given the complexities of photo ID and enrolment details, calling in such a large volume of cards would not have been viable. ACT's flexible operating methods meant the company adapted its offering so that it would not only operate with the existing cards but function with the inherited database.