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RFID tomorrow 2015: Tyrol Clinics Show How Hospital Security Works

Use Cases | By RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow | 18 August 2015
Clinic Safety Clinic Safety

Unique in German-speaking countries: The RFID multifunction cards used by Tyrol Clinic employees are the basis of a comprehensive service and security system

Since 2003, achieving a comprehensive security system has been a management priority for the Tyrol Clinics hospital group, with the hospital board establishing a successful, dedicated unit to manage all aspects of security in one place. Tyrol Clinics is now a pioneer of future- and needs-based security management in German-speaking coun- Clinic Safety Issues tries. A first system was implemented 15 years ago to make use of electronic access solutions, and now includes self-service dispensers for physical keys, drugs and post, as well as priority control of lifts. The RFID employee card is used as an identification medium for every application, allowing every point of entry to be strictly controlled.

Jürgen Schreiber, Security Manager, Tyrol Clinics, in an interview with “RFID im Blick”

Is an Accessible Hospital a Security Risk?

Jürgen SchreiberJürgen Schreiber “Basically, a hospital is a public area and there has to be unrestricted patient access to medical facilities,” says Jürgen Schreiber in interview. “At the same time, hospitals are exposed to a variety of security threats, ranging from theft and embezzlement, to assaults, stalking, cybercrime and terrorism. It’s vital that employees and patients are well protected, as well as equipment and property assets. An access management system is needed to ensure safety in all areas, whilst promoting patient access.”

A Pioneer in Security for more than 15 Years

Having implemented an ‘Identification and Security” project to improve door security, Tyrol Clinics’ Hospital Board set up a dedicated security unit in 2003, which Schreiber has managed since 2004. “Tyrol Clinics’ security system has been part of our ongoing, comprehensive risk management for more than 15 years,” says Schreiber. “There are only a few hospitals in German-speaking countries that promote security in the same way, and our system now covers crime prevention, personnel and IT security, as well as protection of property.”

RFID tomorrow-2015Jürgen Schreiber, Security Manager at Tyrol Clinics, speaks at the RFID tomorrow 2015 on the 29th of September in Forum 4 - "Security with NFC and RFID" about:

"Electro Mechanical Depot Systems in the Hospital as Part of a Holistic Security Concept at the tirol kliniken"

Authorised Access Only

  • 1,200 doors at Innsbruck and Hall Hospitals
  • 10,000 RFID-ID cards (7,500 employees and 3,000 external business partners)

An RFID-based access control system is used to ensure security at Innsbruck and Hall Hospitals, allowing only authorised staff to access to designated areas. “Currently, about 1,200 doors are secured by an RFID locking system,” explains Schreiber. ‘All employee ID cards are equipped with a LEGIC Prime chip: 7,500 for internal staff and 3,000 for service providers. Using these, wards can be entered only at certain times, with secure areas such as data centres, operating theatres and intensive care units accessible only by authorised personnel.”

Drugs and Master Keys Kept Safe

  • Each employee is given designated access
  • Additional access rights can be designated within 48 hours

In 2008, Tyrol Clinics added electronic self-service dispensers to its existing access system, and the RFID card is also used to manage the issuing of drugs, as well as the granting and return of keys. Using a specially created interface, the ‘Kemas’ company’s electronic depot system has been integrated into the access control system. The SAP/HR system automatically designates internal or external employees to their occupational group, specifying their basic authorisation level and any special access rights, for example, to drugs or the hospital shock room.

Alert Systems make Losing Keys Harder

  • Electromechanical key issues in Innsbruck: 7
  • Electromechanical key issues in Hall: 3
  • Alerts via SMS or e-mail when the pre-set loan time is exceeded by 60 minutes

“The risk of loss increases when group or master keys are held permanently by individual employees,” says Schreiber. “Integrating depot systems minimises this risk. For example, using a personal RFID card, cleaners are given a key only for the area to be cleaned, and for a pre-set period of time. To get the key, employees log onto the terminal of the depot system using their ID card, identifying themselves by entering a code onto the keyboard. When the key is returned, the RFID reader recognises its integrated chip, with the system recording the exact time a particular key was taken or returned, and from which depot shelf. If the key is not returned, the system automatically generates an alarm sent via SMS or e-mail to the facility manager concerned.”

Drugs Cabinet Crime

  • Fifteen drugs depot systems at Innsbruck Hospital
  • Five drugs depot systems at Hall Hospital: emergency opening using the four eyes principle if loan time is exceeded by 60 minutes

“The disappearance of drugs in hospitals must be prevented,” says Schreiber. In the A&E and surgery units of Tyrol Clinics’ largest hospitals at Innsbruck and Hall, the daily supply of drugs is secured using Kemas depot systems. Each time a compartment is opened with an authorised RFID ID card, the time and compartment used is automatically recorded. Failure of the RFID lock has no lethal consequences, as security or technical emergency staff can open cabinets manually using a four eyes approach. “Use of electronic drugs cabinets has allowed recording of withdrawals to improve significantly,” says Schreiber, “In future we plan to equip medication with RFID tags and these could even be used to identify which patient the medication is for.”

The Security System Works, with Enhancements planned

According to Schreiber, the facts speak for themselves: „To date, no cases of attempted or successful misuse have been recorded,“ he says, and predicts further improvements: „Currently, high security areas such as data centres, pharmacies and drug storage facilities are secured using a PIN code, in addition to the ID card. But in the near future there are plans to use a biometric system. Alto computer access could be done with biometric or ID cards.“ The system has proved helpful not just for clinical practice, with RFID cards used also for time recording, canteen billing, snack vending machines, laundry dispensing systems and, at Hall Hospital, for parking management. Priority control for 45 lifts has been implemented this year using RFID cards - a real multi-function card - as part of a comprehensive service and security system.

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:32
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