Complicated key management systems can detrimentally affect nursing care. Staff using older, mechanical key systems find it difficult to keep track of who has the keys. Searching for that person to gain access to controlled drugs can waste much of a nurse’s valuable time. Pharmacy managers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (QE Birmingham), identified a better solution for secure, quick and convenient staff access to controlled medicines: the PROTEC2 CLIQ® electromechanical locking system from ASSA ABLOY group brand ABLOY.

Encrypted electronic locking and identification

PROTEC2 CLIQ® is a key-based access control system based on high-security mechanical disc cylinders combined with highly encrypted electronic locking and identification.

ASSA ABLOY worked with medical equipment manufacturer Bristol Maid to supply QE Birmingham with 1,400 keys and 1,600 cylinders to improve medicine security at the hospital – further broadening the company’s experience in safeguarding access to healthcare environments across Europe.

With CLIQ®, power to the cylinder is supplied by a standard battery inside every programmable CLIQ® key, so no wires are required, making it an ideal retrofit solution for doors, cabinets and mobile drug trolleys.

Each employee can now carry a single, physically identical, programmable CLIQ® key that opens any CLIQ® cylinder for which the system has authorised its access. No CLIQ® cylinder can be opened without the key first being authorised by the software.

Remote key management

QE Birmingham’s new PROTEC2 CLIQ® system also allows for remote key management. Comprehensive audit trails for locks and padlocks are available on demand, so chief pharmacists and nurse managers can instantly generate a report detailing who has accessed particular cabinets or drug trolleys at any time. It is easy to remove access permissions from lost or stolen keys using the admin software, or to amend the access permissions of any CLIQ® key.

All these features are enabled by CLIQ® technology, and combine to substantially increase the security of controlled drugs — and to save nurses’ time.

“Efficiency is also increased,” explains Aaron Ballard Ridley, healthcare sales specialist at ABLOY UK. “As each nurse has access to their own key with personalised access rights, they don’t have to waste time looking for who has the key to a particular cupboard.”

“The message from all nursing staff is that patients are getting medicines much easier and in a more timely fashion,” says Inderjit Singh, Chief Pharmacist at QE Birmingham. “For us, the key return on investment is the quality of service we’re providing.”