Exclusive: Unified and touch-free


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ICT and Securitas have worked together to significantly enhance the security of Iceland’s leading hospital.

Landspítali (the National University Hospital of Iceland) is the country’s leading hospital and is Iceland’s largest workplace for employees in healthcare with over 100 buildings on ten sites in the Reykjavík area. In fact, about 70% of Icelandic babies are born in this hospital.

Unify and future-proof

Landspítali faced a complicated assortment of alarm systems, a lack of automation and the ongoing costs of re-keying locks and physical keys. The legacy technology didn’t allow a full system overview and the struggle of managing 10,000 active users added to inefficiencies for security staff.

Working closely with local integrators Securitas, they looked to bring their security offering into the 21st century, with a unified solution that was easily expandible and could provide ease-of-access and increased hygiene using touch-free doors.

After careful consideration, ICT’s Protege GX platform was chosen to deliver unified access control, intruder detection and building automation for Landspítali. Eyþór Örn Eyjólfsson, Product Manager at Securitas commented: “ICT is user-friendly and provides a great experience for the end user. The powerful features and integrations make it a perfect choice for a job like this.”

After a successful test in the emergency department, the ICT Protege GX system was deployed across the entire hospital leading to around 1,000 doors and 10,000 users currently managed by a central Protege GX server network.

Saving time and money

The environment provided by a unified ICT solution brings alarms, access and automation together in one central interface. Landspítali has seen cost-savings from increased building efficiencies by automating functions such as light controls and arming/disarming and opening/closing of areas.

These improvements also have benefits for the people tasked with looking after the day-to-day security at the hospital. Landspítali’s guard patrol now receive alarms or events directly to mobile phones or tablets, significantly lowering their response time. Projects Manager at Landspítali, Andri Valur Gunnarsson says, “it’s been so helpful for them, the guards are really happy with it.” And with the ability to reset alarms, or arm/disarm areas remotely from handheld devices, it gives them more flexibility to react.

One platform, one data source, one card

Managing 10,000 active users presented challenges when dealing with access level changes, new users, or former employees. By connecting the HR database with Protege GX using ICT’s SOAP Web Service, when an employee is entered into one system it automatically updates in the other, providing a cohesive solution to control user access. This is particularly useful when a staff member forgets to return a credential at the end of their employment – once they are removed from the HR database, the card will no longer grant access.

For staff, the most noticeable improvement is that instead of juggling multiple keys, they now only need one card for access. “The hospital policy is to have an environment without physical keys, ICT is a perfect option in that regard,” says Gunnarsson. This single credential gives access to any authorised areas, including doors, elevators, even medicine cabinets – which are all controlled by assigned access levels in Protege GX. It even allows them to pay for meals in the cafeteria from a single card.

Staff and patient safety is also enhanced by the integration of the hospital elevators. Staff present their access credential in the elevator to gain access only to those floors they are authorised for. There are also parts of the hospital that require higher levels of security. Using video doorbells, staff can check authorisation and grant access to these areas from their desktop screens, sending a signal to the ICT controller to open the requested door.

Touch-free hygiene

A major consideration for the hospital was how to increase the health and comfort of staff by reducing the surfaces that they need to touch. This was achieved by the widespread introduction of automatic door openers. When an authorised credential is presented, the system sends a signal to automatically open the door. This has proved particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, when increased hygiene measures were called for.

Although not all doors are fitted with automatic openers yet, the aim is to continue installation of these throughout the hospital and in the new building currently under construction to make it fully touch-free. There is also testing underway to bring mobile credentials and video integration into the Protege GX ecosystem, as part of a continuous drive for improvement.

Connected and responsive

By connecting multiple sites and combining access control, building automation, intruder detection, video surveillance and user management into a single cohesive system, Landspítali has seen increased staff efficiencies, improved response times and a much-improved user experience.

ICT’s unified Protege GX solution has modernised hospital security with a hygienic, low-contact solution and laid the groundwork for future growth at Landspítali.

Securitas is a Protege GX certified partner in Iceland with six locations across the country. Its experience with complex installations and integrations makes the company a leader in security in Iceland across healthcare and many other sectors.

For more information, visit: www.ict.co

This article was originally published in the April 2022 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here.

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