In an effort to eliminate the challenge of surgeons, nurses, and support staff from fumbling with ID badges through scrubs or forgetting them, Promedica Health System‘s (PHS) Sylvania, Ohio-based hospital’s surgery room grants door entry access through hypoallergenic/ antimicrobial coated biometric hand readers. The access control system increases entry speed in critical situations and most importantly creates a highly secure entry beyond card swipe technology that also allows PHS central security personnel to monitor and record through the hospital’s Frontier access control system software from Matrix Systems.
Registration is a two minute process in Flower Hospital’s security center. Surgery room personnel enroll with a biometric hand scan by an identical model of the Hand Key II by Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies (IRST). The hand scan template is processed and attached to the employee’s security ID profile in the Frontier access control software. Matrix Systems’ PHS account supervisor, William Kuebler, engineered the project and coordinated firmware writing by Matrix Systems’ engineering department. Consequently, the interface between the IRST’s Hand Key II software and the access control software was seamless and now enables Flower Hospital’s security manager, Jonathan Jones, easy control over the enrollment procedure. Once enrolled, the employees enter the surgery room via the Hand Key II’s keypad code followed by a biometric hand scan in a process that spans five seconds or less.
While the surgery room access is a success, PHS’ lock shop is used as a beta site to test biometric hand readers for future applications, which will be brought on line in additional sensitive security locations in the future.
Biometrics is just one example of security that Donald Sullivan, security system technology specialist, and James Hofbauer, security director, both of PHS’ Central Region, are continually incorporating into the eight hospital, not for profit healthcare organization that services 27 counties in northwest and west central Ohio and southeast Michigan.
Another example is the Toledo Hospital campus’ 145 space physician parking lot/garage. Previously physicians had to swipe ID cards or punch in ID numbers at an access control card reader to enter the facility. Now physicians have windshield attached transponders that allow a more convenient and quicker entry. Because the wireless RF system sends entry information directly to the security department’s access control workstation, physicians are logged in immediately upon entering the campus. “If there’s an emergency and a need for a particular doctor, we know if that doctor is on campus,” said Hofbauer. “Plus, doctors are our customers too, so this is also a convenience for them because they no longer need to worry about remembering ID numbers or cards.”