Improving Security and Accountability within Hospital Operations without Compromising Effectiveness The healthcare industry faces many unique challenges ranging from employees coming and going as shifts and activity levels dictate and the 24/7 open-door policy of hospitals which has hundreds of people scattered throughout all areas of the facility. These all create challenges in securing valuable medical assets to ensure the usual flow of operations remains as effective as possible. With millions of visitors a year and employees working around the clock throughout all areas of the premises, hospitals need to have the highest level of security in place to protect not only their patients, but also provide constant monitoring of valuable assets, sensitive keys and controlled substances. But how can you improve the security and auditability of all this activity throughout a hospital without disrupting the daily workflow? Fully Securing Valuable Medical Tools and Biohazardous Substances Hospitals can’t let employees have free reign to all the expensive equipment and controlled drugs found throughout a hospital. They also can’t keep everything of value behind a security desk, nurse’s station or locked behind a door. Hospital employees cannot improve their patients’ conditions without quick access to invaluable medical assets or items such as: Medications Tablets Medical devices Patient samples Two-way radios Laptops And more Without these items quickly at hand, an employee’s job would be nearly impossible to perform effectively, which could create incredible inefficiencies and result in poor performance; but unlike many jobs, a hospital simply cannot afford these lapses in performance, it can be the difference between life and death. However, at the end of the day, a hospital is a business and these valuable assets are also high in cost or need to be controlled for various compliance and integrity reasons, but it is difficult to both control and make them accessible. Since it would be impossible for employees to complete their jobs without these essential tools, the securing of these items should be a top priority for all healthcare facilities. Traka’s secure storage lockers include an intelligent process which restricts access to only authorized employees and ensures that a vended asset is charged and ready to go, thus eliminating wasted time. This helps: Protect costly items that are essential to running any healthcare facility Put those items where needed throughout a facility to ensure quick employee access Audit the use of those items which increases accountability and reduces damaged or lost assets Prevent drugs or assets from falling into the wrong hands Ensure employees have all the tools they need, ready to go, making them more efficient With a state-of-the-art solution like this in place, expensive medical assets will no longer be vulnerable to theft, misuse, lack of readiness or just plain being left somewhere unaccounted for, which could save a hospital a lot of time and money! Regularly Controlling Access to Restricted Areas Since hospitals never close, facility access control that works around the clock is essential. Hospitals typically have large staffs, which makes tracking each employee’s whereabouts and controlling where they are allowed to go critical. Access control while essential to hospital operations, isn’t always cost effective or possible in certain areas. There is always a “gap” in things like file cabinets, assets and closets or offices which often house sensitive equipment or information. Through an effective key management solution, Traka allows you to bridge that gap between security and facilities by taking away the keys to the kingdom. A proper key management solution will control access to sensitive or master keys with a predetermined level of access. Security gaps are bridged in areas such as: Labs Pharmacies Restricted floors Management offices File cabinets Keyed Lockers Master Keys And more Traka key cabinets omit the need for anyone to carry keys and automates the vending and audit process by electronically recording when a key is used and by whom through a centralized database that audits key use 24/7. Traka can even send a notifications or revoke badged access to certain parts of the facility if a key isn’t returned within a designated period. Integration into a hospitals existing HR database or access control system not only makes administration a breeze, but also increases a solutions capabilities by using what is already in place to extend the reach of key or asset management. Key cabinets are ideal for all hospitals, especially if there are a great deal of employees, Traka’s customizable solutions can handle all scales of deployment, both locally and globally if needed. The intelligent automation of this process allows for optimum employee accountability and complete access control of all important areas of a hospital at the touch of your fingertips. Administering Complete Responsibility Some medical assets are especially restricted -- like patient data and pharmaceuticals, and are subject to strict procedures to ensure safety and compliance both by patients and employees. If any of these were to be compromised, the hospital could be at risk of: Security breaches Pharmaceutical theft Loss of patient samples Damage to valuable equipment And more Any of these instances can halt an operation and create a ripple effect of disorder that spreads throughout the entire hospital creating unnecessary challenges and inefficiencies. For Example: The fallout of an employee accessing medications within the pharmacy without permissions or controlled access could be serious. If an employee pockets a certain amount of prescription drugs, the hospital deals with not only the liability and expense issues, but patients could also suffer as a result of an inaccurate supply level. The disappearance of the prescriptions would be unexplainable without efficient processes in place. Without the proper system in place, an employee could get away with this type of internal theft and would most likely continue to pilfer from the hospital for their own personal gain, putting the hospital at extreme risk. Instances like this can easily be avoided with the right controls in place. Closing in on Vital Security Improvements A hospital’s operations can struggle to be effective without safeguarding the valuable medical assets and keys to restricted areas that help complete the ultimate goal of helping patients. They also can’t just give the keys to the kingdom away either to all employees to make sure they have what they need when they need it. There is a fine balance…control the keys, you control the kingdom! Traka provides intelligent key and asset management solutions for healthcare facilities and hospitals around the world that help bridge the gap between access control, facilities and business needs. To learn more about Traka’s intelligent key and asset management solutions, visit our Healthcare Security Page or contact us today.