Often spread over large premises, housing expensive equipment and with a high number of visitors accessing the site every day, care homes face numerous threats. Care home safety and security is a big issue, and ensuring the safety of patients, staff, visitors and assets is a top priority but also a challenge, so by installing access control systems workers are able to easily manage areas around a building.
Access control systems can also carry out functions such as time and attendance, staffing level management and parking management.
“Access control systems are increasingly being used to enhance safety and security in residential care homes by restricting and monitoring the movement of staff, residents and visitors without impacting on the residents’ everyday lives,” say access control specialists Nortech. “Installing an effective access control system not only provides a flexible form of security but also one that is bespoke to each individual site.”
What is access control?
Access control allows staff to manage, control, monitor and restrict the movement of people or vehicles in, out and around an individual site. Access control can be anything from hard copy visitor books through to identity cards for doors, gates and vehicle barriers.
Access control systems can be easily installed to ensure that only authorised persons can access specific areas. In more sophisticated facilities, systems can also be used to restrict access to areas that need to be kept separate for the safety of other patients, such as isolation rooms.
Why Use access control in care homes?
Care homes are known to be targets for criminals because they hold valuable goods such as computers and IT equipment and sensitive patient data as well as the personal possessions of staff, visitors and patients. To combat this and deter thieves, a growing number of premises are now installing access control systems to offer instant, flexible protection. One system Nortech can offer is a hands-free access control solution which is both secure and userfriendly. This Nortech system uses Nedap’s uPASS access readers which offer both convenience and security.
Each member of staff is issued with a long-range (UHF) electronic ID badge that they carry on a lanyard or clip. The UHF ID badges are automatically read by the uPASS readers at a distance of up to 2m allowing staff access though doors without the need to physically present their ID card to the reader.
Two advantages of this handsfree system are that it allows staff to push trolleys or wheelchairs or to carry equipment easily around a care home whilst also avoiding the spread of germs or viruses through constant contact with door handles.
Integrating the system
The ease of integrating access control with other security measures is another reason why the system is so appealing, as access control software enables hospitals and care homes to provide even tougher protection for their sites. The systems are often effectively linked to the likes of CCTV, property marking, perimeter protection or intruder alarms.
Access control systems can also work on a small scale for just one door, as well as being used as part of a wider security system. They provide users with a great deal of flexibility according to individual requirements. By using access control as a method of security, different authorisation levels can be easily set, preventing people from accessing areas they do not have clearance for. New photo ID cards can also be created instantly for new staff or if a replacement is required.
Electronic access control systems are increasingly being used to enhance safety and security in hospitals and residential care homes. In these environments, staff often need to gain access through doors while escorting patients in wheelchairs or beds or when carrying sterile equipment, etc. so hands-free access is the ideal solution. Managers, trained staff, ancillary staff, residents and visitors can all be assigned a pass card that will allow them access around the building appropriate to their status.