Compliance, Meet Convenience: Secure Storage for Mobile Assets in Healthcare Environments
Mobile devices – tablets, laptops, smartphones and that older mobile device, the two-way radio – are everyday tools in hospitals and other medical facilities. These are financially valuable and sensitive assets and, as in any business, administrators must manage shared equipment. Additionally because of HIPAA privacy laws protecting patient information on these devices, access must be strictly controlled.
The simple solution is an asset management system of networked secure storage lockers, backed by versatile software. A robust system drives secure access for authorized personnel through RFID technology and creates an auditable record of transactions for administrators. Managers can easily track utilization, identify current users and manage return policies. For these benefits to be realized, however, users must comply fully with all policies.
The beauty of the Deister proxSafe System is its simplicity from the user’s point of view. Devices can be accessed from and returned to any of several RFID-driven Smart Storage cabinets placed around the facility. Returning the equipment is convenient, so compliance rates increase.
The foundation of proxSafe is a portfolio of secure storage lockers and drawers available in a number of sizes that can be combined together to hold an array of asset types, including laptops, tablets, keys, or any other items administrators want to track for asset management or to control shared equipment.
Each device entered into the proxSafe network is affixed with an RFID chip installed in, attached to, or hung on the device in the form of a tag or fob. When the device is removed from or returned to a locker, an antenna within the compartment recognizes the asset’s unique ID and logs the transaction in the proxSafe network’s Commander Connect software.
When an authorized user is ready to access a monitored device, they simply go to one of the banks of lockers controlled by proxSafe terminal keypads. Depending on how administrators configure the network, the user swipes his or her smartcard, enters a PIN or does both.
At the end of the shift, the user can return the device to any locker in the network that’s large enough to hold the item; it is not necessary to return to the same compartment the item was obtained from. The system recognizes the unique RFID signal from the item and records its return. All details of the transaction are logged, including who accessed it and from which locker, who returned it and to which locker, the date and the time. Managers can run full reports to audit usage at any time.
From the manager’s point of view, it’s easy to detect if a device was not returned in time. The system can be configured with curfews for each asset, issuing an automated alert if the device has not been returned. Commander Connect’s web-based app also makes it easy for administrators to view if the optimal number of assets are deployed to each bank of storage compartments. Devices can then be rebalanced to put them most conveniently near the users.
Because the RFID chips require no batteries, they are maintenance-free, easing the burden on IT personnel. And for users, equipment can be charged while in the cabinet, ensuring the device is ready to run for the next shift… a necessity in a facility that runs 24/7. You can even ensure that battery powered devices are released in the order of those most charged.
The digitization of care in the medical field will only continue to grow, requiring essential devices be in the hands of physicians, nurses and technicians where needed, when needed. With its robust RFID-based asset management capabilities, the proxSafe system ensures administrators and IT managers retain full accountability of valuable devices —enhancing fiscal and HIPPA accountability. And it allows the facility’s most important assets of all – its medical personnel – to put their focus not on keeping track of their tools, but on helping their patients.