Hospitals are society’s beacons of care, giving strength and life to thousands every day through sophisticated surgical procedures, internal cures, emergency attention and hospice care. However, these multi-functional campuses have seen an increase in physical violence and IT data breaches in the last few years that threaten patient and staff safety as well as the security of their private information. This alarming trend signifies that there are larger problems with the way security is handled at hospitals, and it may be time to reassess the diagnosis.

Physical access control and corresponding protocols are vital to hospital safety for reasons that are already abundantly clear. These campuses house the most vulnerable amongst our population, from newborns and sick children, to ICU patients and the elderly, and cross-contamination or physical harm from an download (1)interloper poses an exponentially larger risk to these patients than the rest of us — as well as serious damages from liability. Furthermore, patient protection includes making sure children or mentally ill patients remain physically accounted for with video surveillance and stringent access control checkpoints.

Logical access control, however, is an area in which hospitals are only recently getting their bearings, having digitized millions of files and entered them into databases only in the last five years or so. Many hospitals are still struggling with the overall costs of this transition and therefore the security of their networks, putting millions of patients’ medical histories and personal information at risk by hackers (much like what happened to UCLA a few weeks ago, where nearly 5 million patients and their medical records were compromised).

It is time that security systems providers approach physical and logical access control as one unit, combining the two principles for a more robust solution to modern threats. Viscount is uniquely positioned to fight this two-front battle with the Freedom Access Control platform, an IT-centric software solution that leverages existing infrastructure to encrypt critical data and guard multiple entryways without traditional access control panels, which have been proven to be vulnerable to cyber attack.

Freedom ensures high-level cyber security by eliminating control panels. This architecture has been rigorously tested for government compliance by FICAM, HSPD-12 and FIPS-201 regulations. Network complexity and upfront costs are immediately reduced because of the reduction in hardware, making Freedom cost-effective for hospitals that are already financially spread thin.

Sun Health, a senior assisted-living community, recently chose Viscount’s software-centric solutions as a way to secure their 40-acre community, which houses more than 700 residents. Sun Health needed a keyless access control solution that allows EMT personnel to enter the grounds as quickly as possible during medical emergencies. Freedom’s IP encryption bridges allow visitors and staff to remain a top priority on campus by granting the facility scalable, highly secure protection at a low cost.

By leveraging physically and logically intelligent access control solutions in hospitals across the country, we can phase the threats of hospital dangers into remission and ensure that our healthcare providers can concentrate on keeping our population healthy.