How do I make a psychiatric hospital secure?

Access security in Psychiatry: a security challenge

Security in psychiatric centers

Security in hospitals and, in particular, psychiatric centers has never been so topical as over the least few years, particularly given the dramas we've seen unfold in Grenoble and Pau, where a student was stabbed by a schizophrenic person who had just escaped.

Reinforcing controls and security for patients and healthcare personnel is at the heart of the issues faced by psychiatric establishments. Having to look after very vulnerable people, these facilities need a personalized and effective solution.

Maintaining a level of security: everyday vigilance

If working methods are called into question in psychiatric hospitals and for healthcare personnels, the entire security setup in healthcare establishments must be redesigned.

It's not uncommon to notice several keys missing from a Locking Master key system or where security equipment is not working properly. In most cases, the access control system is not maintained through a lack of resources or negligence, which poses a real problem for overall security.

Which access control system for my hospital?

There are several types of security system: mechanical, electrical or mechanical/electronic. Several configurations are therefore possible for securing all entry points into a hospital, often combining various technologies.

According to a specific circular carried out in the psychiatric sector, the electrical locking of all entry points is permitted as long as all personnel are equipped with a key.

As a result, hospitals can adopt electrical shunt locks which allow entry via a simple push button and mechanical exit using a key. This combination of mechanical and electronic technologies is now possible.

Main entrances

A hospital's main entrances have to deal with a large number of visitors, patients and healthcare personnel. This requires an appropriate and reliable locking system which meets the needs of daily footfall rates.

We offer locking solutions which can withstand intensive use and which have been tested in the most extreme conditions. An effective access control system also allows you to reinforce the security of an establishment by filtering comings and goings and preventing the risk of escapes or intrusions.

Emergency exits leading to the outside

In order to comply with safety standards in the event of fire or evacuation, you need to have a security system which allows you to lock entry points whilst still allowing free movement in an emergency.

DAS (Dispositif Actionné de Sécurité or Active Security Device) door locking devices with automatic closure require a constant power supply.
In the event that the power supply or power cable is cut, French standard NF S 61-937 requires the lock to fail-over and the door to be unlocked.

This concept of powered security devices is referred to as positive or power cut. The advantage of this security system is that it secures your establishment whatever the situation.

Pharmacy door or secure rooms

In psychiatric hospitals, some areas are particularly sensitive such as pharmacies, IT machine rooms or spaces reserved for medical personnel. Access to these areas is off-limits to the public: patients and external visitors alike.

This requires a robust and reliable locking solution able to control access. These doors can be fitted with a coded electronic device with a digital keypad, which is easy to install and use.

This system allows you to secure these areas and also provide an Open Access function which keeps the lock open if required. Combining flexibility and reliability, this solution is perfect for the hospital sector.

Double swinging fire doors

These also allow you to isolate two departments from each other and create a security cordon using a DAS (Active Security Device) which makes access control easier.

In this particular case, only healthcare personnel carrying a security pass are permitted to unlock the swing doors in order to move between departments. These DAS security solutions comply with French standard NF S 61937.Combined with a UGCIS system, you can control the door from a security PC.

Centralized door management

In order to simplify access control, having a software application that centralizes control of all locks and security systems is a real advantage. A combination of position sensors and alarms provides an instant view of the state of each door within the centralized access control software. You can also combine a mechanical key with an electronic solution by adding an electronic tag fitted with a chip to the key which can open a door; this is ideal when managing several layers of security using different technologies.

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