Physically Securing Medical Equipment With Electronic Access Control

Southco Korea, a subsidiary of Southco Inc., a leading global provider Southcoof engineered access solutions such as Locks, Latches, Captive Fasteners, Electronic Access Solutions (EAS) and Hinges / Positioning Technology, introduces the company’s EAS solutions for healthcare market in South Korea. With the increasing concern about the privacy and security of patients’ health information, as well as inventories of pharmaceuticals, narcotic, blood and other controlled substances that are routinely moved throughout facilities on dispensing carts and trolleys are required security barriers and entry controls in place, Southco’s EAS is able to create “intelligent” accessibility and traceability for healthcare equipment and facility to meet physical security and regulatory compliance.

Different from traditional physical security solutions of healthcare facilities that mechanical locks with different keying options or even multiple key codes for added security, EAS combines intelligent electronic locking mechanisms with remote monitoring and audit trail capabilities, and can be networked with existing facility security systems to create one cohesive security network across the healthcare facility for control access.

For instance, many facilities use wall-mounted charting stations housing computers with patient records. Access to these stations must be tightly controlled because they are often located in high-traffic areas. With the electronic access-enabled system applied in the healthcare facility, not only employees can use the same credentials to access building security and equipment, but each access activity creates an audit trail to the monitoring system to prevent breach occurs. Additionally, the EAS can communicate with IP security cameras or other security devices, it allows expansion the scope and capabilities of a security network.

Southco’s R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latch is the heart of an electronic access system. It contains sensors and multiple output signals that provide data for both local and remote monitoring. The R4-EM can be operated from a variety of access control devices ranging from stand-alone keypads, proximity card or biometric fingerprint to fully networked systems. Combining the R4-EM with an access control device provides an additional layer of security for healthcare equipment to compliant with drugs regulatory. R4-EM is also compatible with existing building security access control systems, which can save costs when considering equipment replacement.

Ha Suk Chung, Country Manager and Business Development Manager of Southco Korea said “The Health Information Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) in the USA not only has influenced healthcare operations, but also caused a massive ripple effect for healthcare equipment manufacturers. With the need for greater security defined by HIPAA, equipment manufacturers are turning to electronic access solutions. These solutions can monitor access by creating an audit trail – in essence, an electronic “signature” – that can be monitored locally or remotely and aid in meeting compliance requirements.”

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