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Why You Need Wander Management When You Have an Access Control System in Place

wander management concept - empty bed in an assisted living facility

Access control and wander management often go hand-in-hand in healthcare. Although access control is part of a good wander management solution, it doesn’t cover everything. If wandering is a security concern for your facility, an access control system alone will not be enough and will leave security gaps and vulnerabilities for your facility and its residents. You need wander management when you have an access control system in place to be able to cover those gaps and vulnerabilities efficiently.

4 Reasons Why You Need Wander Management Even When You Have an Access Control System

Here are some reasons why you need wander management even when you have an access control system in place:

1. Wandering and Elopement Are More Complex Than Just Access

There are many causes of wandering in senior living communities and other facilities. Although access control is a deterrent and can help prevent residents from accessing areas they shouldn’t, it’s also not foolproof.

Depending on the access control you are using and how it’s set up, determined residents can still find ways to exit the facility or enter unauthorized areas. This is particularly true if they have assistance, intended or unintended, from staff, visitors, etc. Access control paired with wander management is far better at preventing elopement and wandering than access control alone.

2. Access Control Doesn’t Have Resident Locating

One of the biggest reasons why you need wander management when you have an access control system is because access control doesn’t have resident locating. You may get an alert when unauthorized access is attempted and be able to see who is attempting it through video surveillance or other security systems, but that is not the same as resident locating.

Reliable resident locating is one of the essential components of an effective wander management system. With a variety of comfortable wearables, you should be able to see where a resident is within or without your facility quickly and easily and receive alerts specific to residents when unauthorized access or wandering is attempted.

You can also integrate these wearables and resident locating capabilities with your access control system to allow for more freedom of movement and independence within authorized areas and have a backup to further prevent unauthorized access.

3. Wander Management Allows For More Flexible Access Control

One of the biggest benefits of access control systems is that they allow you to secure and customize authorized access for entries and exits around your facility. But, what about areas that don’t have doors? Or, what if you need to be notified if a specific resident has left a specific area that isn’t covered by your access control system?

If you operate senior living, assisted living, or specialized healthcare facilities where wandering is a security concern, you may need to implement flexible and personalized access control for areas in your facility with and without secured doors. These are factors to consider in an access control system and this is where a comprehensive wander management solution can help.

With an integrated wander management system with wireless wearables and capabilities, you can create and manage access and alerts for individual residents and patients based on their needs. For example, Securitas Healthcare WanderGuard Blue has geofencing capabilities that allow you to create, manage, and designate notification zones, area designation, and special area protection for your facility and for individual residents.

This is enhanced access control and wander notification beyond what an access control system can do by itself. Not only does this improve patient protection and safety, but it also provides peace of mind to families, efficiency for staff, and allows for more independence for the resident.

4. Access Control Systems Don’t Detect Loitering or Fall Risks

Although AI is helping to predict and prevent senior falls, it requires more than just access control and video surveillance to do it. Depending on the capabilities of a wander management system, wearables can detect loitering, which can indicate an issue, wandering, or attempted elopement, and send an alert with resident information and location.

Many wearables also have fall monitoring technology and mobile duress alerting built in. In addition to managing access, monitoring wandering, and more, the wearables can also detect signals indicating a fall and send alerts through the appropriate channels identified in the wander management system.

Get More Comprehensive Security With Access Control and Wander Management

There are many technologies that improve long-term care. When it comes to security and patient care, they work best when used efficiently together. These are just a few reasons why you need wander management even when you have an access control system in place.

With both solutions integrated and working together along with a wander prevention plan, you can rest assured that your residents and facility are safe. Additionally, should any wandering occur, you will be able to locate residents quickly and efficiently.

If you’re interested in healthcare or senior living security solutions, contact NEPPS at 800-736-1456 to discuss your needs and schedule a free site assessment.