There are a multitude of doors in medical and assisted living facilities – most designed to keep people without authorization from entering protected areas, and some designed to keep them contained inside. Doors in hospitals also provide patients with privacy and, when locked, a level of security that is both simple and effective.

There are also many different door configurations to satisfy the long list of entry/egress needs at medical and assisted living facilities. This includes: doors that open manually with a handle, knob or push bar; doors that slide, swing or revolve; doors that open automatically with the push of a button or the swipe of a card; doors that can be programmed to open automatically only when another door is closed; doors that are alarmed; and so on.  Needless to say, medical and assisted living facilities employ quite an assortment of doors that fall under various classifications, each with specific design criteria.

The physical security and safety of people, property and assets plays a significant role in determining which door control solutions get applied where. The proper selection and deployment of intelligent and reliable door control solutions helps security professionals better manage risk, enhance protection, and comply with mandated ADA requirements. However, deciding on the right door control solutions to meet a facility’s needs and comply with local, state and federal regulations can be complicated.

Here’s a brief overview of the building blocks for most door control solutions:

Electromagnetic Locks are used for swinging doors to provide positive, instantaneous door control. They are inherently failsafe, releasing instantly upon command or loss of power to provide unobstructed egress. Independent of any mechanical type locks, they have no moving parts and are easy to retrofit onto existing doors. Alternately, mortised electromagnetic locks are used where aesthetics are concerned such as hospital lobbies and vestibule entrances.  Electromagnetic locks can also be used to secure cabinets and drawers or pedestrian gates. And because of their confined magnetic field they can safely be used in computer rooms and other electronically sensitive areas within a hospital environment.    

“REX” Push Buttons (Request to Exit) are used in areas where security codes require a readily apparent and easy-to-use door control or electric lock release. They are easy to operate and are available for use in outdoor or harsh operating conditions. They are available with alternate action, momentary action or time delayed action. Proximity activated switches can help decrease the potential to spread contagious diseases since no actual hand contact is required to activate them. LED lights clearly indicate whether doors are locked or unlocked.

Mantrap/Interlocked Doors are commonly configured with electromagnetic locks for security applications. Two-door mantraps are most common, but systems can incorporate many doors when several controlled areas are interconnected. Life safety codes need to be complied with when deploying mantraps to control ingress and egress. This will require that the door interlock systems be interfaced with fire alarm controllers to allow emergency exit. A local emergency pull station may also be required to allow doors to be unlocked in non-fire alarm emergencies, or to interface the mantrap system with NFPA 101 delayed egress controls.

Door Prop Alarms are used primarily for exit doors. These alarms provide an audible warning sounder at the door, as well as activating an alarm relay to signal other remote monitoring systems.

Panic Devices/Emergency Pull Stations facilitate quick and safe egress from a facility in case of emergency.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in door control for medical and assisted living facilities. The door control experts at Dortronics can help you configure the best door control solution for every entry/egress point in your facility. Just click here to get the conversation started.