With nearly two decades of experience in door access solutions, Tom Morgan, director of business development for healthcare with ASSA ABLOY, knows a thing or two about what healthcare facilities need when it comes to ensuring buildings are secure and accessible.
Here we checked in with Morgan to learn how ASSA ABLOY’s door access solutions can help healthcare facilities leaders anticipate access control needs.
What are some of the challenges in the industry that ASSA ABLOY offers solutions for?
The healthcare vertical market at ASSA ABLOY deploys a top-down consulting approach. We aim to engage at the system level. I would say the first challenge is getting the system-level decision-makers to acknowledge the importance of our offering. Door access solutions aren't a top-of-mind issue to most. You open a door multiple times a day without considering all of the components that make up the opening or the fire and egress codes required at that opening.
Our solutions are more than just a door knob. We manufacture solutions that contribute to the healing environment. Our solutions protect patients, visitors, and staff, and they affect sound transmission, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. In addition to the physical solutions, we offer solutions to help manage the design, delivery, and maintenance of the building’s door openings.
Assa Abloy - Design Software
Door hardware and access control aren’t a problem until there’s a problem. So we’re trying to alert facilities leaders to potential issues before that happens. Much like with privacy concerns caused by data breaches and other cybersecurity issues, we want to get to those folks before there’s an issue.
And when do these things become a problem?
When the opening isn’t functioning properly, or when the opening isn’t up to code. When the project is over budget and they begin value engineering the door hardware scope. When the electromechanical components are not sequencing correctly. That’s when they start caring about what’s on the door. If we are involved during the design process, we can eliminate most of these issues.
What are things people are coming to you about that they are installing now?
There has been a ton of research on how the built environment has the ability to impact a patient’s health and psychological wellbeing. Looking at healthcare facilities designed today, you notice that most resemble high-end resorts or hotels. Designers are looking for solutions that contribute to design aesthetics. They are coming to ASSA ABLOY for the decorative door, frame, and hardware solutions, solutions like suited hardware collections.
Sliding doors in patient rooms is also a common design element we manufacture today. Some facilities have environmental sourcing initiatives and only ASSA ABLOY has the solutions to meet those needs. Many of the specialty facilities being built today are for behavioral health. We are seeing a demand for ligature-resistant door hardware. There has also been a demand for low-touch or touchless door hardware solutions.
Many of these products are not new, but there is an elevated demand for them in an effort to control the spread of viruses or bacteria. Lastly, escalating violence against health workers has prompted a demand for solutions to protect staff. We have supplied attack-resistant and shelter-in-place solutions for healthcare facilities.
Are you seeing more interest around issues of safety and security?
Yes, in addition to the increasing frequency of violence against health workers, hospitals are concerned with infant abductions, patient elopements, and theft of drugs and other hospital assets.
What should healthcare leaders be thinking about right now?
Getting ASSA ABLOY involved early in the design phase of a project will eliminate many of the tripping hazards. We have the consultants and solutions needed to meet the facility’s needs. We understand that it's not only what they buy, but how they buy. Because of this ASSA ABLOY is an awarded supplier with the top group purchasing organizations.