Guaranteeing a high level of security is a primary goal for hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. Threats can range from thefts of medical equipment and patients’ belongings to violent acts to cyber attacks. In order to protect patients, workers, assets or data, it’s vital for these organizations to stay up-to-date with the most recent developments in technologies designed for safety purposes.
Let’s dig into how the latest technologies are revolutionizing healthcare facilities and protecting them more effectively from different kinds of threats.
Access Control Systems
Controlling who has access to the different areas of a building is crucial for those managing healthcare facilities. Different doctors, nurses, workers, suppliers, and patients are authorized to access different areas, and their clearances may vary over time. Using security guards or other personnel at access points can only achieve so much, and it tends to be quite costly too.
Modern access control systems that implement multi-factor authentication can boost the level of security and provide additional benefits, such as helping administrators monitor the movement of people and collect data that can be used to generate helpful insights.
Touchless access control systems, such as proximity cards and devices for biometric access, can also reduce the spread of infectious agents as well as allow administrators to monitor the flow of people with mobile devices.
Another technology that makes the premises safer for patients, personnel, and equipment alike is video analytics. The combination of video surveillance and AI provides one of the best solutions to prevent thefts and other undesirable events from happening anywhere on the organization’s property.
Cameras placed in strategic spots (such as corridors, doors, elevators or parking lots) collect data that intelligent video analytics can then process for a variety of purposes. Examples include updates on the number of occupied beds in specific wards, alerts when the availability of empty beds goes below a critical level or when loitering is detected, and information on physical objects that could cause accidents (or delays) if not removed.
Smart Alarm Systems
Being able to manage emergencies as effectively as possible is one of those factors that define a successful healthcare facility. Administrative, human, and technological solutions should work together to make sure the incidence of undesired, if not tragic, events is minimized. Different smart alarm systems can help the organization achieve this goal. They include alarm solutions that can be easily integrated with security cameras and video management systems, as well as lockdown systems and door locks.
Smart alarm systems also allow personnel to alert and interact with each other during emergencies. They range from bedside equipment that monitors patients and triggers alarms when certain levels are reached to mobile solutions that allow personnel to monitor power, lightning, fire and any other building management system from any location and not just on dedicated screens located in specific areas of the facility.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals are another group that, over time, has shown a particular interest in sensitive data collected and stored by organizations operating in the healthcare industry, including patients’ private medical records. According to Statista, the average cost of one healthcare data breach is 10.1 million dollars, and the largest data breach recorded in this industry affected 78.8 million individuals. The website also reports that phishing is the most common cybercrime in this industry.
Securing financial information and sensitive data on patients or staff is crucial for a healthcare facility that wants to avoid significant losses and damage to its reputation.
One way to achieve this objective is by resorting to cloud-based data storage. In addition to cutting costs and minimizing the chance of your data being lost, this solution allows you to benefit from advanced encryption and the provider’s team of data security experts. Moreover, they drastically reduce the number of people that can access the physical facilities where the data are stored. It’s not by chance that most data breaches have taken advantage of traditional computers rather than information stored in the cloud.
Choosing the right firewalls is another action hospitals and healthcare facilities should take to protect themselves from malware and other cyberattacks, as they are the first barrier between sensitive information and the open internet. By monitoring both outgoing and incoming traffic, they only allow the passage of data that have been pre-cleared.