Access control in the residential care home sector
Caring for vulnerable or elderly people presents a unique set of security challenges. Crucially when it comes to access control, residents may find it difficult to adapt to new or complex technology.
Yet at the same time, an advanced system can hugely benefit this client group. Access control that can feed back to site managers in real time, for example, can impact care quality directly, enabling staff to respond to incidents as soon as they arise. And, of course, residents aren’t the only ones that use a care home’s access system. Staff, volunteers and visitors must also be kept safe. What’s needed is a system that is both easy to operate and equipped with advanced access control features.
Installation at the Casa de la Misericordia
The Casa de la Misericordia is an assisted residential home spread between two buildings, a new build and an existing building dating to the 1930s. In total the two sites house 900 people: 310 employees, 45 volunteers and over 500 residents.
Managers sought flexible, expandable access control which could be installed in 2 phases, starting with the new building.
- access control which enables efficient real-time control of the entire premises, allowing care and security staff to respond immediately to an incident
- a system which permits tailored access privileges, to adapt to the varied profiles of site users, which include staff, residents, volunteers, visitors and emergency workers
- wireless technology suited to retrofitting in an old building with large doors and walls up to 1m thick
- a flexible and scalable system, which allows staff to manage access to two separate buildings from the same control point
- a solution to the problem of mechanical key loss, and which also enables access rights to be amended instantly.
SMARTair™ Pro Wireless Online met every requirement. With the 2-stage project complete
— including 650 additional SMARTair™-enabled accesses in the older building — access control to the whole Casa de la Misericordia site can be managed from one point. Because SMARTair™ components are installed without the need for electric cabling around the door, retrofitting the
system in a building with thick walls and big doors caused no problems. Installation was also quick, and minimized disruption to day-to-day operation at the care home.
“A wireless solution that allows us to install access control without wiring up the buildings is a big advantage,” says Ernesto Serra, Facility Manager at Casa de la Misericordiaץ
SMARTair™ instantly upgrades security and convenience for both administrators and residents. With SMARTair™ Wireless Pro Online, system administrators can open any door remotely, without even being present at the premises. So, if there’s an on-site emergency, a security manager can open a door for any member of staff, even doors for which staff don’t usually have access permissions.
It’s also easy to configure the system to detect use of an internal escutcheon handle. If a resident operates their room handle, the SMARTair™
system registers it as an event in real time, and can send an alert to security or care staff. With this
feature, residents have the independence to come and go as they please, while those responsible for resident care remain updated on their movements. A SMARTair™ Pro Wireless Online installation also allows administrators to amend access rights on- the-go, so staff can update their access permissions without having to visit an access control point, making workflows smoother and cutting wasted staff time. For administrators, SMARTair™ enables tailored, fine-grained levels of access to the main entrance, drug and medicine rooms, residents’ private rooms, and any other configuration needed, for any individual.
Several practical features make SMARTair™ perfectly adapted to a care-home setting. There are battery-powered escutcheons and cylinders to fit wood, glass, emergency exit and fire resistant doors, barriers, elevators, and more.
The escutcheons can all be delivered with an antibacterial coating, for improved hygiene.
A wide range of compatible credentials allows every individual to open doors in the most convenient way. So, patients can carry a bracelet and tag for easy door opening.
Managers can use the SMARTair™ app to open doors instantly from any Apple, Android or Windows Phone smartphone.
For staff, a standard RFID smart card is often the most convenient solution. The system also supports PIN and card+PIN multi-authentication, for an extra layer of security.
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