Wireless access control provides solution for medical centres

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The MAZ Hospital in Zaragoza recently upgraded its locks to Smartair Wireless Online electronic access control, which keeps facility managers constantly updated on the status of their premises in real time. The solution saw the installation of approximately 115 Smartair escutcheons and wall readers, which now filter access to internal and external openings, including wooden and glass doors, fire doors and safety doors. Smartair wall readers control hospital lifts, car parks, fire sectoring doors and the gym. Wireless escutcheons lock offices, kitchens, the canteen, pharmacy, archive and storerooms.

Multiple key systems; varied openings including fire doors, glass doors, offices, pharmacies, car parks and lifts; plus hundreds of workers and contractors using different access systems and needing different, constantly changing permissions. Faced with these challenges, managers at Hospital MAZ, in Zaragoza, knew mechanical keys could not provide the 21st-century security their hospital needed.

The new single, unified access, system is controlled by secure, intuitive Smartair TS1000 management software, installed in the central server and managed via client servers in different hospital departments. The Smartair Web Manager runs inside any standard internet browser, with https:// protocol communication and SSL password encryption, and makes day-to-day admin simple. Adding or deleting a user via the Web Manager is easy: a couple of clicks cancel or amend a smart card’s access rights. So, unlike their previous mechanical key system, hospital security is not compromised if an employee loses their credential.

And because the Smartair Wireless Online system updates via communications hubs in real time, security managers can implement all changes via the central system, without needing to waste time walking through the hospital, changing rights one door at a time. Because Smartair devices are wireless and battery-powered, installation and operation are inexpensive, too.

Employee convenience has been greatly enhanced. Staff and contractors carry a single Mifare smart card programed with their constantly updated, individual access permissions, which they use to open authorised doors. Cards are delivered blank and then personalized to work also as employee registration ID, so 625 staff and approximately 100 contractors only need to carry a single card. “We have achieved all our objectives with the installation of the system,” says Miguel Angel Hernández Jerez at Hospital MAZ. In fact, according to Assa Abloy, the hospital is already planning to expand their Smartair installation to another 50 doors. Already, 30 more centres in the same group are also planning to switch to Smartair — all of which can be controlled by a central server.