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Key management improves safety of NHS trust drug dispensing

Traka : 27 November, 2015  (Application Story)
Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust has taken Traka for improving estate management and drug dispensing security using key management
Key management improves safety of NHS trust drug dispensing

Traka, the key and asset management specialist, has helped improve the safety and accountability of the drugs issuing process at Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust, by installing its key management systems.

Previously, keys to drugs lockers were issued manually, with one member of staff acting as a steward. However, this led to human error, difficulties in locating the keys and additional administration duties for busy ward staff.  Despite the thorough manual processes in place and the majority of staff remaining vigilant, stock discrepancies did occur, through error and in some cases theft.

This had serious Health and Safety, security and cost implications, which led the hospital to purchase a Traka key management system. The keys to the drug lockers are now stored within the intelligent key cabinet. Through the ward staff’s existing credentials, only authorised personnel are able to access the cabinet. Further to that, the keys inside the system are locked in place by Traka’s secure iFobs, which means a hierarchy of access rights can be given to each key, depending on the strength or skill of administrating each drug. So within the cabinet, only certain keys will be available depending on the pre-determined access rights.

To maximise the security of the system, the Traka key cabinet has been programmed so that two members of staff need to swipe their credential to take and to return a key to the system. This creates greater accountability and encourages best practice amongst ward staff.

Simon Whitehorn, Head of Security for Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust said: “ The Traka system has made a massive difference to the drugs dispensing process on the wards. From a health and safety perspective, we can have greater confidence that drugs do not get into the wrong hands, or that untrained workers can not get hold of drugs they are not authorised to administer. From the ward staff’s point of view, it has taken away timely administration tasks, and the frustrations of trying to locate keys when a patient is in need of medication.

“Accountability is also a major part of the benefits for us. Since installation, the frequency of stock discrepancies has been dramatically reduced. However, when there are questions raised, the reporting functionality that the system offers, lets us know who has accessed what key and when, so we can track down the individual responsible and find out more.”

Key Management

Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust has also installed a Traka system to manage access in and around the estates. Two large key cabinets are situated outside the security office, so authorised personnel who have access to sensitive areas of the hospital can easily retrieve the keys they are allowed to use.

This system considerably reduces additional administration efforts from security staff, and allows people to access keys easily and safely. The system is also programmed to set curfews on keys to certain areas. This means that security staff are alerted if a key was meant to be returned at a certain time, providing greater levels of health and safety.

Tom Smith, Vertical Solutions Specialist – Finance, Healthcare & Hospitality, for Traka said: “Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust is a fantastic example of how healthcare facilities are making key management an embedded aspect of its health, safety and security procedures. From the basic key management functionalities for accessing keys to the building, right the way to the drugs management on the wards, the Trust is taking accountability and safety seriously.”

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