Opening the Door to a Secure Future

Clay Platte Family Medicine Clinic upgrades to IP-based access control system

In every industry, access control is a tricky balance between accessibility and security. This balancing act is amplified when it comes to healthcare and medical facilities. Most hospitals and clinics are open to the public during business hours; yet, they also contain extremely sensitive information and dangerous equipment as well as patients seeking a wide range of medical treatments.

When Clay Platte Family Medicine Clinic looked to upgrade their lock-and-key door controls, they turned to an IP-based access control system from Axis Communications to address these competing demands.

All-in-one Medical Care

Clay Platte Family Medicine Clinic is constantly buzzing with activity. This cutting- edge primary care facility is the largest clinic in Platte County, a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. They offer a full range of services to as many as 450 patients each day, six days a week, including primary care doctors, a cardiovascular clinic, onsite labs and X-rays, and a MRI and CT imaging center.

“We have tried to create an opportunity for patients to come in and get everything done onsite that they might need,” said Adrian Delaney, staff physician. “Essentially, once eight o’clock hits, our phones start ringing, our doors start opening and our patients start visiting. The clinic employs more than 100 people, and a steady stream of couriers, pharmaceutical representatives, patient’s families and others pass in and out all day long. Once those doors open, it is non-stop busy.”

In such a bustling environment, maintaining control over who goes where is critical. In addition to protecting its patients and staff, the clinic also needs to secure sensitive materials like pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and patient records.

“It’s not uncommon in medicine for people to try to sneak in the backdoors to get what they need,” said Patty Jean, head clinical nurse. “As a medical facility, many of the items inside are extremely dangerous, such as scalpels, drugs and electro-cardio tools. It is not just that people are taking our stuff, they are taking stuff they don’t know how to use.”

The Network Advantage

Before installing Axis’ physical access control solution, Clay Platte relied on manual lock and key security. However, the clinic wanted to enhance their access control beyond what those locks could provide. They also were expanding and wanted an access control system that could grow with them. Wachter Inc., a solutions and services provider, recommended AXIS A1001 Network Door Controllers with AXIS Entry Manager software as a simple, scalable and secure upgrade. “As an integrator, one of the key things we look at when choosing an IP system over an analog system is the scalability,” said Mario Palmietto, Wachter Solutions engineer/architect. “We try to find a solution that will allow the system to grow with the customer.”

Quick and Easy Installation

Axis network door controllers are independent units that operate on a non-proprietary, open, IP-based platform. New units can be added to the network individually, and the installation process is a breeze. Palmietto and his team were able to pre-configure the system on their in-house computers before starting the physical installation. After pre-configuration, AXIS Entry Manager software produced a unique, color-coded wiring diagram that corresponded to the connectors on the back of the unit to help streamline installation time and reduce complexity.

“Analog systems are more complex,” said Mathew Fritzemeier, Wachter field engineer. “They often require a service manual and leave it up to the installer to determine where the wires go. This software walks you right through it. The entire system was a nice and smooth installation. The wiring was simple, and the software makes it easy to set up the doors.”

Additionally, because the Axis units support PoE, Wachter was able to eliminate the need for expensive composite cables. This significantly reduced costs and allowed Clay Platte to invest in more security for the future.

Intuitive and Feature-rich Software

Wachter recommended AXIS Entry Manager because the user-friendly interface makes it easy for Clay Platte to administer the system themselves.

“It just tells you what to do, intuitively,” Jean said.

As administrator, Jean can dragand- drop staff into groups to create access schedules based on shifts and set specific clearance levels for various parts of the building.

“It gives me the flexibility of actually setting schedules, so when people are supposed to be here, they can get in, and when they aren’t, they can’t get in.”

This software allows Jean to control the system remotely. If, during an emergency, someone needed to get in after hours, she can grant immediate access from home for a specific amount of time.

“If someone needs to be there for an hour, I can literally pin down an hour,” she said.

As Clay Platte expands, they plan to install the Axis system at their new locations.

Because it is on our network and our network shares everything, it is another system we can drop into place,” Jean said. “That is a huge plus and a huge cost savings.”

In fact, the cost savings are allowing Clay Platte to explore integrating IP surveillance cameras into the system. They hope to add alarm functions and payroll tracking support.

Complete Control

The access control system has given Clay Platte Family Medicine Clinic complete control over the entrances to their facility. The doors are guaranteed to be locked and secure at night, and they are protected from any unauthorized access to the back of the facility.

“Since we have installed the system, I haven’t had to worry about people walking in uninvited,” said Dr. Nathan Granger, physician and owner of the facility.

While the Axis system blocks out those who don’t belong, it doesn’t impede the work of the clinic.

“Accessing the system has been quite easy for me and my staff,” Granger said. “It has not affected our workflow at all.”

“I think everybody is excited to have it in place,” Delaney said. “The improved security provides real peace of mind.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Security Today.

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