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Access to health care

Health-care facilities may be one of the biggest consumers of security technology and services.


October 19, 2018
By SP&T Staff

From cameras to access control to guards, their needs are legion, and many of them are 24×7 operations.

Integrator of the Year award winner for 2017 and 2016, B.C.-based Houle, won for two major projects — three, if you count the fact that their 2017 win was for two hospital sites.

Houle installed technology, including access control, surveillance, intrusion systems, patient wandering, nurse call and more for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. The two sites comprising the North Island Hospital Project included Campbell River and Comox Valley. The installs were completed simultaneously, requiring some careful coordination. A real-time location system (RTLS) from Sonitor was particularly cutting edge, using a combination of ultrasonic technology and WiFi to accurately locate hospital staff.

In August 2014, SP&T News featured an article on maintaining access control in health-care facilties. Not an easy task, considering the number and variety of doors in these institutions and the different levels of access required for staff and patients. The article, written by Ann Geissler Timme of Allegion, noted the complexity of these interactions and the potential pitfalls of getting access wrong: “It is not possible to put a dollar amount on the potential damage that a health-care organization could suffer by unauthorized individuals gaining access to restricted areas of the facility.”

That same year, in May 2014, a feature article on biometrics pointed to the technology’s potential in health-care, helping to address its considerable privacy and access challenges. “In health care, there’s a lot of traction for our technology. The doctors sign e-prescriptions, sign reports, have access to patients’ e-records. You cannot rely on a PIN of six digits or a password to have access to sensitive information,” said Eric Talbot, CEO of Montreal-based S.I.C. Biometrics, in the article.

Looking back 10 years, the August 2008 issue of SP&T News featured a story on Stanley’s acquisition of Ottawa-based Xmark. Of note was an infant protection technology called Hugs, designed to track and protect newborn infants. At the time, the story highlighted its use at Brampton Civic Hospital. The technology continues to be part of Stanley’s hospital portfolio and, according to the company’s website, now protects more than 1.5 million infants a year around the world

This article originally appeared in the October issue of SP&T News.