Benefits of Key Cabinets in the HEALTH sector

Effective control, security and accountability of keys is of paramount importance within the Health System.  Whether it be in a clinic, surgery or hospital environment, unauthorised access to any given area, must be prevented.  The consequences or uncontrolled access can be devastating in the loss of materials and equipment resulting in delays in administering medication or, in the extreme circumstances, loss of life.

Instances have occurred where cabinets have needed to be forced open as entry was required immediately.  This has resulted in expensive repair or replacement costs.  Other instances have resulted in security of the keys being severely compromised – with doors left open to make things easier.  The control, accountability and security of the keys had completely broken down and the often-priceless resources were left open to all.

A recent problem arose at the General Hospital in Southampton with accessing a set of key cabinets holding keys to highly sensitive medical record cabinets.  Time was constantly being lost locating the authorised person responsible (keyholder) on the ward. An answer was required to enable the cabinets to be accessed without wasting valuable time and money whilst maintaining a high degree of security.

After evaluating a number of options a highly cost effective solution was found by using the Reece Safety Key Control System SECKS30EDIGI fitted with a ‘stand-alone’ electronic digital lock with a key-override facility – as an emergency access in the unlikely event of the lock failure.  A push shut latch was fitted which ensured the door automatically closed every time – so no more doors left open!  Appropriate wards were fitted with this key storage solution. The flexibility of the cabinet met the requirements needed – to ensure keys were always securely accessible to the authorised

The ruggedly constructed cabinets have a durable powder coated finish, coloured adjustable hook bars with corresponding coloured numbered keytabs which can be repositioned to suit different size keys.  In this installation, different coloured hook bars/keytabs were used to denote the different areas e.g.  personnel and full accountability was achieved.

WARD 1 – FITTED OUT IN BLUE

WARD 2 – FITTED OUT IN RED and so on. 

Each cabinet was supplied with a control index, which when removed makes key identification/location virtually impossible. The lock itself offered all the features needed to maintain security procedures at the hospital; which was up to 80 user codes and with 10 one time user codes.

 

Also important was the ability for the lock to be reprogrammed whilst on the door and this proved was particularly useful.  No unnecessary expense incurred in changing the codes when security protocol dictated.  (As a note, whilst not required immediately, there is a remote connection facility available on this lock, enabling a link to external switches or alarm.)  From an additional security view, there is a tamper-time-out and low battery warning.

With respect to keys, the wards ran more efficiently – easy access at the appropriate times, adhering to the correct security protocols, no wasted time, no expensive repairs, no wasted money etc... Budgets are very tight within the NHS and the pay-back period for this investment was estimated to be in the region of no more than 4 months from a cost saving but, of course, the effective use of time of these Health Professionals had a far higher value.