"In the busy environment of our ITU ward we have nurses working in shifts and visitors walking in and out. Consequently, the policy of the NHS trust is that we need to securely store our drugs. Before, we used key based cupboards to do so. Each of our 65 nurses owned a key to operate them, sometimes up to 100 times a day. As a result of the intensive use, the locks wore out regularly. Sometimes the nurses couldn’t lock the cupboards properly anymore and bent or broke their keys as a result. Patient safety always comes first, and we had to be confident that the cupboards were secure at all times. We also had to comply with the national NHS policy to securely store the drugs. That’s where Nedap came in."
Recommendation for Nedap
"When we asked our partner Carillion, facilitator of the NHS trust fund buildings, about a solution to comply with the NHS security policy, they recommended Nedap. They worked with Nedap before in other NHS site projects, for example NHS Crawley & Horsham hospital. Carillion had heard about the locker management functionality of Nedap’s security management platform AEOS. They told us that this solution could help us solve our key management problem in a cost effective way. Not only for us, but also for Carillion themselves," says Tara Laybourne, Manager of the ITU ward, Darent Valley Hospital.
No more key management
"Because the mechanical keys and locks wore out all the time, Carillion had to come over very often to replace them. Also, every time you copy a key, the key gets worse. Eventually it didn’t fit the lock anymore. It was an ongoing problem. That’s why we chose AEOS Locker Management,’ says Tara. ‘The main reason is that the locks can be operated with badges instead of keys. All of our nurses now have one single badge which operates every drug cupboard on the ITU ward.’ Also from a maintenance point of view the electronic locker management solution is very cost effective; locks and keys don’t have to be replaced anymore and as the locks are wired, there’s no need to replace batteries. Tara says: ‘Generally, the solution serves a good purpose and is worth the money."
Track and trace access
"Apart from the fact that we can now secure the access to the cupboards, we can also track and trace who’s accessed the cupboards at what time. That’s also one of the reasons why we’ve chosen for AEOS Locker Management. According to NHS policy, we have to keep our drugs securely stored. They regularly perform audit trails to check if we comply to the policy. In case of an audit trail, we can easily prove that only authorised persons had access to the cupboards," says Tara.
AEOS Locker Management provides access control on micro level. Via an easy to use web application, accessible via every web browser, users can easily define who should have access to which lockable compartment at what time. When asked about the user friendliness of the system, Tara says: "We’re happy about the system, but still finding our way around it though. Sometimes, when we issue a new badge to a new colleague, we accidentally issue a visitor badge instead of an employee badge. Consequently, the new colleague can’t open the cupboards. Then we know that we did something wrong. With a few mouse clicks we can fix our mistake; the system is easy to manage. To keep the process of managing the cupboards secure and clear, only myself and someone else are authorised to manage the system and assign badges. In case both of us are out, the others have an algorithm to check user history if necessary."
"In the past keys were sometimes lost or misplaced. Since the installation of AEOS Locker Management, they never lost a badge, so that’s a great benefit too"
When asked about the cooperation with Nedap and its certified Business Partner, Tara says: "The cooperation was good. Nedap was available to come over in the case of an event. For example, one time, the cupboard wouldn’t close. It turned out that the hinges where dislocated. Because the nurses lean on it all the time, we had to renew them. So, it wasn’t really due to the system. In the past keys were sometimes lost or misplaced. Since the installation of AEOS Locker Management, they never lost a badge, so that’s a great benefit too."
Darent Valley hospital is now ready for the future. In case more drug cupboards should be equipped with Nedap’s electronic locks, they can be integrated into the existing AEOS Locker Management system with a few mouse clicks. Because the hospital opted for the solid AEOS security management platform, they can also choose to add on functionalities like access control, intrusion or video management later on. For now, they only use the locker management functionality of the platform and they only pay for the locker management feature they use.
Darent Valley hospital
Darent Valley is a modern hospital in Kent offering professional care, exceptional quality and providing patients with the latest technology for their treatment in safe, comfortable and clean surroundings. The hospital’s team of around 2000 professional and friendly staff provides care for patients across a full range of day-patient, inpatient and out-patient care. It works closely with the local community to improve the standards of its services and welcome all patients both locally or further afield. As Darent Valley benefits from the solid AEOS platform, they can choose to add on functionalities like access control, intrusion or CCTV later on. For now, they only pay for the feature they use.