Keyless Confidence: Reinventing Security for Care Homes and Retirement Facilities

SPONSORED STORY: Care homes and assisted living facilities are under pressure to provide the highest level of care whilst maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing of residents.

To relieve some of this pressure, a growing number of care homes are modernising elements of their internal infrastructure, including replacing mechanical, traditional locks and keys with keyless entry systems, or digital locks.

The need for a harmonious blend of security, accessibility, and privacy is driving a demand for more digital access solutions, that provide residents, visitors, nursing staff, and service providers with the seamless access they need.

What are digital locks?

Digital locks are typically battery-powered and use a range of authentication methods such as PIN codes, keycards, or smartphone apps, to grant or deny entry.

As part of keyless entry systems or electronic key management systems, digital locks provide a combination of technology and hardware that removes the need for traditional locks and keys.

They can offer a higher level of security and safety as access rights can be amended, limited and revoked in real time. However, a detailed and granular level of visibility also lies in the data the systems collect – audit trails.

Access logs are recorded for every user and the systems can provide an accurate record of movements across and within a care facility.

Why are care homes ditching keys and turning to digital locks?

The risks associated with lost or stolen keys or doors being left unlocked are removed entirely, and residents and their families have peace of mind that their environment is centered around security and well-being. But, that isn’t the only benefit of going digital.

Advanced Security Features: Digital locks utilise cutting-edge encryption technology ensuring robust protection against unauthorised access. With built-in tamper detection and remote monitoring capabilities, these systems provide unparalleled peace of mind that care home facilities and the people in them are safeguarded.

Flexible Access Management: Digital locking systems offer administrators the flexibility to grant or revoke access permissions remotely, and immediately - ideal for dynamic environments such as healthcare buildings or care homes when access needs to change regularly.

Convenience and User-Friendly Design: With intuitive interfaces and easy operation, digital locks provide occupants and administrators alike with a hassle-free experience. Whether unlocking doors with a keycard, entering a PIN code, or using a smartphone app, these systems offer convenient access solutions tailored to individual preferences.

Remote Monitoring and Management: Administrators can remotely manage access permissions, monitor door activity, and receive real-time alerts from a centralised platform, streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency.

Audit Trails: This insight can ensure compliance with policies and regulations and provide important information in the case of a security threat or internal investigation.

Scalability and Adaptability: Digital lock systems are often highly scalable, allowing organisations to expand or modify their security infrastructure as needed. Whether adding new doors, integrating additional access control features, or extending coverage to new facilities, these systems seamlessly adapt to evolving needs.

Improved Emergency Response: Care home facilities can respond quickly to emergencies by providing real-time information on the location of staff and patients.

Reduced costs: Battery-powered digital locks use less electricity, reducing utility costs and lowering the carbon footprint of a building’s operations, thereby meeting increasing ESG demands.

A digital future?

According to this Omdia report, 2024 Trends to Watch: Physical Security and Critical Communications, the global market demand for mobile credentials is expected to see significant growth too. Mobile credentials take electronic key management systems one step further, giving building occupants greater access flexibility via their smartphone, reduced management costs and better access to real-time data from entrants’ phones.

As the care home sector continues to embrace technological advancements to enhance patient care and operational efficiency, digital electronic key management systems offer an opportunity to maintain and enhance safety and security for patients, equipment, and care facilities.

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