The Best Access Control System for Long Term Care Facilities

February 27, 2020 | Access ControlSenior Living Security

The Best Access Control System for Long Term Care Facilities

How to Choose the Best Access Control System for Your Long Term Care Facility

Long term care facilities aim to provide patients and residents with the best possible care, ensuring that facility residents receive the day to day support they need to thrive. But top quality care is grounded in something even more essential and foundational: a secure facility where access to resident rooms, staff areas, and the building itself is properly controlled and monitored.

When it comes to choosing the right access control system for your facility, there are a number of important considerations to take into account. You want to keep your facility safe, which means you need a system you can count on — but you also have a budget to stick to.

What sort of access control system is right for your facility? How do you determine which security company to go with? We’ll answer these questions below. But first: what is access control?
 
 

What Is Access Control?

Also sometimes known as wander control, wander protection, or wander management, access control systems serve to regulate access to external and internal entrances within a facility.

Long term care facilities have to balance the needs and interests of patients, residents, staff, and visitors. While patients and residents need a level of independence within a facility, it’s up to facility managers to ensure their security. A door control access system safeguards residents by determining who can gain access to your facility as a whole. Visitors, staff, and patients are all accounted for, and a system log keeps track of which areas of your facility a particular person has accessed. For memory care units, access control in the form of wander control is particularly important, as it ensures the safety of residents suffering from cognitive impairment.

Selecting the right access control system means finding the right provider — but how do you choose the right company?
 
 

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Security Company

There are five major considerations to take into account when it comes to researching, vetting, and ultimately choosing a security company.

1. Location
On the one hand, it seems that choosing a security provider in your local area would be the obvious choice. After all, even the best designed and most up to date systems break down on occasion. Isn’t it best to have a local security provider who can perform on-site maintenance at the drop of a hat?

Actually, today’s technology means that on-site maintenance is becoming less and less important. Access control system providers now have the ability to log into your facility’s system remotely and troubleshoot any issues. Many of these issues can be addressed remotely, too, getting your system back up and running right away.

2. Experience
When selecting a company for security, you want a provider with plenty of experience with access and wander control systems. More specifically, however, you should consider whether the company has experience with long term care facilities.

Long term care facilities have unique needs that differentiate them from other secure facilities. Going with a company that specializes in providing access control for long term care facilities can dramatically improve your overall experience.

3. Expertise
Whether you’re tasked with facility management or maintenance, you have a lot on your plate — and you can’t be an expert in everything. That’s why it’s important to choose a security provider that offers genuine expertise when it comes to access control.

As with anything else, you get what you pay for. Investing in a company with a high level of expertise will give you peace of mind as a facility manager.

4. Training
An access control system is only effective if your facility staff understand how to use it. Does the security company you’re considering provide training for staff members? This is absolutely essential: if you’re going to spend the money on a quality system that’s been installed by skilled professionals, you want to ensure that your staff can utilize all of its capabilities.

5. Service Contracts
Perhaps most importantly of all, you want to go with a company that offers a comprehensive service contract. Choosing an access control provider that will handle all of your maintenance and service needs in-house makes things much easier in the long run. Rather than attempting to communicate with multiple companies to account for multiple needs, you’ll have a single go-to contact with your security provider who can handle any issues that might arise.

We can’t stress enough how important a service contract can be. Comprehensive customer support will include 24/7 system support, proper system certification, access to the right spare parts when needed, and more. You’ll also be in a better position when it comes to preparedness for regulatory inspections.
 
 

Choosing the Right Access Control System for Your Facility

At the end of the day, every facility has its own unique set of considerations to take into account when choosing a security provider. The above offers a starting point to help you in your search — but it’s also important to assess your facility’s needs on an individual basis.

Are you looking to learn more about access control systems? Take a look at this overview of access control, and visit our blog for more security and communications insights.

If you’re searching for an access control provider, we’d be happy to discuss various options with you. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions: visit our contact page here, or call us at (800) 538-7349.

Case Study

Sanford Health and Rehabilitation, Sanford, NC, Long-Term Care – Skilled Nursing Challenge: With no elopement protection or warning system in place, the facility was using battery powered door chimes to notify staff when doors were opened. Unfortunately the facility had an elopement, which exposed their need for a wander system…. Read more »

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