The NHS employs more than 1.5 million people. This makes it one of the top five largest workforces on the planet, behind only the US Department of Defence, McDonalds, Walmart and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
In England alone, some 150,273 doctors, 314,966 nurses and health visitors and 111,127 other clinical staff tend to the needs of 54.3 million people. They are spread across 136 acute non-specialist trusts, 17 acute specialist trusts and 55 mental health trusts. Each and every hospital is a complex ecosystem and so it’s no surprise that when it comes to access control, hospitals, clinics and surgeries face a number of unique challenges.
Hospital buildings are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and because they are public facilities, they require open access for the vast numbers of transient visitors coming and going.
However, this quest for widespread accessibility must be balanced with the need for security in order to ensure patient and staff safety. Hospitals, clinics and surgeries contain millions of pounds’ worth of medical equipment and medication. From cleaning cupboards to medical rooms, access must be controllable at a granular level.
Because hospitals grow organically over time, managing this living and breathing entity can be an almost impossible task for healthcare facilities and estate managers. The challenge is akin to managing the keys for each and every house in a small city.
Smart locks to the rescue
So how do you manage access control in such a complex environment?
Smart lock technology is playing an increasingly crucial role in the world of hospital access control. Codelocks offers a range of cabinet, locker and smart locks that help with a wide range of healthcare access needs – from entry to entire wards, to restricted access to staff lockers and medical cabinets.
NHS Trusts are under considerable pressure to reduce costs and smart locks can certainly contribute towards driving efficiencies. Site managers can choose between keyless access or provide smartcards. This reduces administrative costs and streamlines processes. Access codes can be changed on a regular basis to help prevent misuse.
Smart locks do not have to be hardwired into existing systems, meaning that they can easily be retrofitted. This is useful for hospital environments as deployments can be phased, with minimum disruption to operations, medical equipment and patients.
Once installed, Codelocks smart locks can help healthcare facilities and estate managers comply with regulatory requirements. With comprehensive auditing capabilities, the Codelocks suite of smart locks provide site managers with a granular level of insight.
Operation: access all areas
University Hospital Southampton uses Codelocks digital locks with audit trail to grant access to contractors that need regular access to rooms containing machinery.
Using our locks, the estates building maintenance team can allocate individual time-sensitive access codes to plant room doors. The codes are only active during the contracted timeslot.
“All of the experienced locksmiths working on the team have found the product to be very user friendly and easy to maintain,” Supervisor, Eamonn Devaney explains. “It’s also great knowing that Codelocks is on hand to provide additional support if necessary.”
This is just one example of how our innovative smart locks can be used to manage access control in a healthcare environment.
To find out more, get in touch today.