When it comes to securing a residential care home, there are no second chances. You need access control you can trust. In Pamplona, the Casa de la Misericordia care home put its trust in SMARTair™, advanced wireless access control from ASSA ABLOY.

Caring for elderly residents

Caring for vulnerable or elderly people presents a unique set of security challenges. Crucially when it comes to access control, residents may find it difficult to adapt to new or complex technology. Yet at the same time, an advanced system can hugely benefit this client group. Access control that feeds back to site managers in real time can directly impact quality of care, enabling staff to respond to incidents as soon as they arise.

And, of course, residents aren’t the only ones that use a care home’s access system. Staff, volunteers and visitors must also be kept safe. What’s needed is a system that is both easy to operate and equipped with advanced access control features — a system like SMARTair™ Wireless Online.

Flexible and expandable system

To assist in the day-to-day care of over 500 residents, Pamplona’s Casa de la Misericordia had a specific set of demands for its new access system. Real-time control over the premises was essential in giving the residents the care they need, 24/7 and 365 days a year. “In a residence like ours it is critical to have real-time management that allows us to interact with a door at any time,” explains Ernesto Serra, Facility Manager at Casa de la Misericordia.

The system also needed to be flexible and expandable, so it could be installed in 2 phases, starting with a new build before moving on to a building dating to the 1930s. Advanced wireless technology suited to retrofitting in an old building was another must-have: the older building has large doors and walls up to 1m thick.

The new system needed to be flexible and scalable, so staff could manage access to 2 separate buildings from the same control point, amend access rights instantly, and tailor access privileges to the profiles of a varied set of site users, including staff, residents, volunteers, visitors and emergency workers.

SMARTair™ Wireless Online

SMARTair™ Wireless Online met every requirement. With the 2-stage project complete — including 650 additional SMARTair™-enabled doors in the old building — access to the whole Casa de la Misericordia is managed from one control panel. Because SMARTair™ battery-powered components are fitted without the need for electric cabling, installing the system in a building with thick walls and doors was no problem. Installation was also quick, and minimised disruption to the day-to-day operation of the home.

Because SMARTair™ battery-powered components are fitted without the need for electric cabling, installing the system
in a building with thick walls
and doors was no problem

“A wireless solution that allows us to install access control without wiring up the buildings is a big advantage, the system has adapted to our present and future needs,” says Ernesto Serra.

Remote management

In a care-home environment, SMARTair™ upgrades security and convenience for both administrators and residents. With SMARTair™ Wireless Pro Online, system administrators can open any door remotely, without even being present at the premises. So, if there’s an on-site emergency, a security manager can open a door for any member of staff, even doors for which staff don’t usually have access permissions.

It’s also easy to configure the system to detect use of an internal escutcheon handle. If a resident operates their room handle, the SMARTair™ system registers an event in real time, and can send an alert to security or care staff. With this feature, residents have the independence to come and go as they please, while those responsible for their care remain updated on movements.

A SMARTair™ Wireless Online installation also allows administrators to amend access rights on-the-go, so users can update their permissions without having to visit an access control point, cutting wasted staff time. SMARTair™ enables administrators to tailor fine-grained levels of access to the main entrance, drug and medicine rooms, residents’ private rooms, and any other configuration needed, for any individual.

Practical advantages

SMARTair™ practical advantages include battery-powered escutcheons and cylinders to fit wood, glass, emergency exit and fire resistant doors, barriers, elevators, and more. The escutcheons can all be delivered with an antibacterial coating, for improved hygiene. Plus there is a wide range of credentials, allowing every individual to open doors in the most convenient way. So, patients can carry a bracelet and tag for easy door opening.

Managers can use the SMARTair™ app to open doors instantly from any Apple, Android or Windows smartphone. For staff, a standard RFID smart card is often the most convenient solution. The system also supports PIN and card+PIN multi-authentication, for an extra layer of security.

At this Pamplona care home, SMARTair™ has provided a major security upgrade on mechanical keys. If a card is lost, it takes a couple of click to cancel it. The costs, risks and inconveniences a mechanical key system have been eliminated.

For more information on how SMARTair™ access control is helping to protect the care homes of the future, visit www.tesa.es/smartair-residentialcare.