NHS improves drugs control with electromechanical locking

London, UK

"The switch to Cliq eliminated nurses’ wasted time."

The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust has discovered a time-saving and cost-efficient system for their drugs control in the shape of the Cliq locking cylinders from Abloy, an Assa Abloy brand.

Using a mechanical lock system to manage and monitor hospital drug cabinets is a drain on nurses’ valuable time. First they must find the ward manager or authorised keyholder. Then they search a huge bunch to find the right key. In fact, according to Mike Urwin, chief pharmacist and clinical lead for medicines management at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, a nurse typically spends 40 minutes per shift looking for keys.

As a solution to this dilemma, Scunthorpe Hospital installed the Protec Cliq electromechanical locking system with remote functionality on one of its wards, to secure drug cabinets, cupboards and fridge padlocks. Each nurse was issued with a single, programmable key that would open only those locks that were authorised for the individual nurse. Cliq cylinders are easy to install and powered by a standard battery inside each key, thereby minimizing maintenance costs. Changing a battery is simple, and is notified automatically.

Cliq is perfectly suited to the healthcare sector. Access rights in every key can be changed or revalidated whenever needed. A lost or stolen key can be instantly deleted, negating any risk to sensitive drug supplies. Audit trails can be generated for any Cliq cylinder, so drug and medicine safety is further enhanced.

The results in Scunthorpe were impressive and immediate. The switch to Cliq eliminated nurses’ wasted time. If the system was on every ward in the Trust, cutting that waste would equate to having an additional 24 nurses on duty every day, according to Mike Urwin.

“I would recommend that all other Trusts think about implementing a trial of this system and see for themselves the benefits it can have,” says Mike.  And according to reports, Cliq was popular with hospital staff, too, one ward manager, commented “Each nurse had their own key so there wasn’t any time wasted searching… it was so simple and easy.”


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