Security Best Practices for Essential Health Facilities
Healthcare facilities are on the front line of the pandemic we face right now. Nurses, doctors and healthcare employees face the challenge of treating sometimes overwhelming numbers of patients. One thing you should not need to worry about is your physical safety.
Healthcare employees face higher workplace violence rates even in the best of times for a few reasons. First, the people you are in contact with, generally ill patients, are already anxious and agitated. Second, the nature of healthcare facilities means that they are open to the public, and for the most part, anyone can walk in. Source
We are living through an unprecedented time right now and tensions and anxieties can run high.
How can you, the essential medical staff facing this pandemic head-on, make sure your community stays as safe as possible?
Best Practice #1:
Assess Who Has Access to Your Locations
Hospitals are always open to the public. Managing access to facilities built to have open doors at all times presents a unique challenge to control access to areas that must remain restricted. We know hospitals around the country are bracing for, or already experiencing, overwhelming numbers of patients right now. It is critical to think about areas that must remain off-limits. For example, the ICU or the Labor and Delivery Unit should remain restricted to limit exposure to vulnerable populations.
Understanding who has access to those areas, monitoring who is entering and exiting and managing that access can be critical.
For non-emergency healthcare facilities, your offices might be shut down or are operating in a limited capacity. Make sure only a skeleton staff can access the office and have eyes on your offices even if there is no one physically there. The right access-control solution makes it easy for you to create groups and manage those groups' access. Create schedules that specify the times and doors those groups of people can access.
Best Practice #2:
Consider Remote Access Management
The key to flattening the curve in this global pandemic is by practicing social distancing as much as possible. This means the more you can do and control remotely - without being on-premise and around others - the better.
Of course, hospitals must remain staffed with healthcare professionals to serve our communities, but what if facility personnel could protect you from home to limit the number of people in the hospital? With cloud-based access control, facility and security managers are able to control who has access to vulnerable areas of the hospital remotely. With integrated video surveillance, eyes are always on the entrances of protected areas. Locked doors can be pulsed open if need be, non-essential staff access can be revoked, and in the case of an emergency, a lockdown can be enabled.
For healthcare offices that are operating in a limited capacity or closed, they can be monitored and managed remotely to ensure that only authorized staff members are able to gain access. Healthcare offices that remain closed can still be monitored and protected remotely as well.
Best Practice #3:
Implement Mobile Solutions
Mobile credentials have been rising in popularity over the past few years. Mobile credentials provide an added layer of protection for facilities due to the built-in biometrics on smartphones. Users are also far less likely to lose or share their smartphone than a keycard, fob or metal key. Now, a new benefit has emerged - limited physical contact on commonly used doors. To access a common space, only one tap on your personal smartphone unlocks the door.
Mobile facility management is an extension of remote management. From your phone, you have the ability to:
Manage user access any time and unlock doors from any location
View live door activity and recorded video footage
Remotely assign and revoke credentials sent directly to a user’s smartphone
Protect high-security areas with two-factor authentication already built into smartphones
Initiate lockdown of door(s) or entire site
Arm and disarm alarm panels
When it comes down to it, mobile credentials and mobile management limit the number of physical touches to common places. Credentialed users can open doors via their own personal smartphone and facility managers have the opportunity for offsite management.
Watch this video to see how Brivo Mobile Pass works, limiting the number of physical touches to common doors and areas.
For both scenarios: limiting access to vulnerable areas in a publicly accessible hospital, or limiting access to or monitoring non-emergency healthcare facilities during shut-down, are achievable with cloud-based access control.
Cloud-based access control allows you to:
Create schedules and set times for entrances and alarms
Manage permissions to an entire building or to vulnerable areas by granting different levels of user access
Monitor events, set up access control alerts and view real-time video
Receive event data in easy-to-view reports
This can all be done remotely which is critical during this time of social distancing.
You are doing everything you can to help patients through this pandemic.
Brivo is working to help you.
Brivo is helping to monitor commercial buildings all over the world to promote social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
This image shows the shut-down of commercial buildings in the US as social distancing protocols have been put into place. This was created from access data in the Brivo platform. The map has turned red which shows that access events have lessened or completely stopped. For buildings that must remain open, Brivo can also track exactly who is accessing and has accessed the facilities to easily trace any infection chains in the event that someone tests positive for the virus.
Brivo can work for your facility.
Brivo is protecting essential healthcare facilities.
We understand the complexities of protecting healthcare sites and we have the mobile capabilities to help on an even higher security level now.
Hear from two of the healthcare facilities we currently protect:
Brivo offers flexible purchasing options. We understand that you might need to upgrade your security right now, but financially, times are tough. There are multiple ways to purchase Brivo so you can get the robust access control solution you need at a price that you can afford.
Brivo will continue to work for healthcare professionals and their facilities.
Brivo is paving the way for the healthcare facility security of the future.
One of the most important aspects of cloud-based physical security is that it can move fast. We are constantly upgrading and updating the Brivo platform not only to meet today’s security needs but to anticipate and meet the security demands of the future.
Right now, for healthcare facilities, in particular, we see two major security trends coming our way:
Fluid one-touch access: Users can leave their smartphones in their pockets. With fluid access, users can glide through the doors they are authorized to enter with a quick elbow tap to the reader - hands-free. This will severely limit germ sharing.
Integrated thermal video surveillance: Using thermal video footage to monitor and identify visitors who are running a fever. They could immediately be quarantined from the rest of your patients upon arrival.
The great news is that these technologies exist today. We are in the process of fine-tuning these technologies to be convenient and life-saving realities for you in the future.
Here’s what Steve Van Till, Brivo’s Founder, President & CEO has to say about the future of healthcare facility security:
“Access control has always been important to healthcare facilities, but Covid-19 has upped the ante and changed the nature of acceptable solutions. A simple employee badge or access card is no longer sufficient. Biometric authentication of staff is the gold standard, but it needs to be implemented via each individual’s mobile device as opposed to a common public fingerprint or similar device that becomes a new disease transmission vector. This will give a big shot in the arm to mobile credentials like Brivo Mobile Pass that enable authorized users to validate on their own personal device and transmit their credentials safely via Bluetooth.”
Brivo is here for you.
These are trying times. You need support and we are here to provide it.