Hygienic, secure hospital access control

Modern access control has recently demonstrated it can powerfully enhance not just hospitals’ security and efficiency – but also strengthen their hygiene.

Modern access control has recently demonstrated it can powerfully enhance not just hospitals’ security and efficiency – but also strengthen their hygiene. Modern access technology already controls access and secures healthcare staff, while cost-effectively regulating equipment and monitoring medical supply use. This is done by defining zones of access, privileges for groups or even specific individuals, for certain times of day or any combination of these. Modern, centralized systems support fast, flexible policy changes and detailed reporting on accessed zones, used devices and supplies.

Recently however, hospitals have seen the criticality of staff hygiene assume primacy, increasing the emphasis on cleaning regimens while minimizing contact that vital care-giving staff have with frequently touched surfaces. Obviously, deployed access control readers and tags must be able to tolerate constant and harsh cleaning. Their protection class should at least be at least IP67, to ensure insulation from harsh chemical moisture.

If a hospital requires personal pin codes at an access point, capacitive pin pads are the easiest to sanitize. Although the moving keys of common mechanical keypads may certainly be cleaned, their protection class might not tolerate frequent exposure to chemical liquids or vapors. If mechanical keypads are required, an ideal solution is one that lacks gaps between keys and housing since such gaps will unavoidably wick and store dust, vapor and viable viral particles.

Idesco provides a variety of reader housings with both capacitive and mechanical keypads suited to a range of needs. Keypad readers are assembled with the same, robust, high IP67 protection class Idesco’s other non-keypad readers have: all may be safely cleaned with traditional disinfecting cleaning agents.

Another benefit of Idesco readers is their fast, flexible configurability. For example, suspending an installed reader’s pin requirement is as simple as exposing a configuration card to it, reconfiguring it for transponder only. This can be crucial if a zone or access point must suddenly adopt an intensified hygiene regimen.

Solutions that permit controlled, hands-free access are particularly suitable for hospitals with hygiene-critical zones to maintain. Such solutions support authorized staff transiting a control point without touching any surface, while still preventing access to all others.

EPC readers already can transact transponders e.g. on a necklace, from greater distance, allowing personnel to carry parcels, or conveniently transit patients on beds through doors.

Idesco’s new Mobile Lite product offers yet another hygienic solution. When configured to security level 1, an Idesco Mobile Lite reader (8 CD 2.0 MI) will detect a staff member’s access privileges stored in the mobile phone in their pocket. Transaction distances for hands-free access are flexibly adjustable to between one and nine meters.

Idesco’s readers are already deployed in healthcare settings, e.g. Oslo’s Rijkshospitalet. Upon completion of their comprehensive access control system renewal, Rijkshospitalet expressed particular delight with the ease and speed of Idesco readers’ installation. It had permitted them to remain fully operational throughout the process. Learn more.