nursing home access control


Key takeaways

  • Access control in healthcare manages access to people, sensitive areas, assets, and data in healthcare facilities.
  • Nursing home access control is necessary for preventing senior elopement, preserving privacy, and reducing theft of prescription drugs.
  • A nursing home security system should be scalable, user-friendly, and serve as a property-wide solution.
  • The best nursing home access control system is ButterflyMX.


Nursing homes serve as long-term care facilities for seniors and individuals who are unable to care for themselves but don’t need a hospital. As such, these individuals and the staff caring for them need proper healthcare security features like access control.

For that reason, this guide details what you need to know about securing your nursing home facility with an access control system. We’ll tell you why access control is necessary for healthcare facilities and its importance at nursing homes. Most importantly, we tell you what to consider when choosing a solution and what the best nursing home access control system is.

This guide covers:


ButterflyMX Access Control CTA


What is access control in healthcare?

Access control in healthcare is a security feature designed to manage access to data, materials, people, and sensitive areas at healthcare facilities.

Healthcare access control falls into two different categories: digital and physical. Digital access control is used to protect employee and patient information by restricting users from files, settings, features, software, and in some cases, access points.

Alternatively, physical access control has a similar objective but manages who has access to certain areas of a facility. By implementing access control, users may only access designated levels and rooms in the facility, which better protects your employees, patients, resources, and the property as a whole.

Overall, access control is commonly implemented across the following healthcare facilities:

  • Hospitals
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacies
  • Nursing homes
  • Urgent cares
  • Clinical labs
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Dialysis centers
  • Memory care
  • Plasma centers
  • Medical offices


Is access control covered in HIPAA?

Yes, access control is the first physical and technical safeguard covered by HIPAA.

Physical safeguards are described as “physical measures, policies, and procedures to protect a covered entity’s electronic information systems and related buildings and equipment, from natural and environmental hazards, and unauthorized intrusion.”

Meanwhile, technical safeguards are defined as “the technology and the policy and procedures for its use that protect electronic protected health information and control access to it.”


Why do nursing homes need access control?

Nursing homes need access control because of the unique security challenges presented by residents, such as those with Alzheimer’s who may wander. Not to mention, nursing homes need to protect against theft, robbery, and other threats typical businesses face.

Access control systems are used at nursing homes for the following reasons:

  • Prevent elopement. Seniors with dementia and those with other illnesses may try to wander about, leading to them potentially getting lost or hurt. Access control systems secure these individuals in designated areas so they remain safe.
  • Reduce medication theft. The theft and illegal distribution of prescription drugs within pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, especially in long-term care, has been an issue for decades. Not only does your nursing home lose money from medication theft, but it also harms the patients. Fortunately, nursing home access control systems manage access to medications so that only authorized employees may gain entry. In the event that an authorized employee is suspected of theft, you use entry logs to narrow your options.
  • Preserve privacy. Patient and resident privacy is paramount when operating a long-term care facility. While digital access control is essential in preventing stolen data, physical access control helps control entry to critical access points like servers or computers where data is gathered.
  • Monitor employees. Nursing homes may face internal threats in the form of their employees, such as theft or causing injuries to residents. Integrating your access control system with a video surveillance system will help pair video evidence with data. In turn, you can better act on problematic employee behavior.
  • Comply with regulations. Above all, access control helps you comply with state and federal regulations, such as HIPAA. If you’re unable to comply with guidelines, you’ll be at risk of hefty fines and license revocations.


ButterflyMX is an access control company


Considerations for nursing home security

A nursing home security system will encompass many components, such as access control, video cameras, alarms, and more. However, your security system should have several features that make it a worthwhile investment.

Consider the following when looking for a nursing home security solution:

  • Integrations. Centralize your security hardware and software in one place with integrations, making it easier for you and your employees to manage your long-term care facility.
  • Scalability. Scale your nursing home without having to worry about changing the security system. The right system can grow or shrink as your nursing home evolves, saving you time and money.
  • Future-proof. Maintain the same security system for years to come with a cloud-based infrastructure. These types of systems get remote updates, giving them longer life spans and new features that benefit your facility.
  • Easy-to-use. Simplify your nursing home security system so that your employees can operate as efficiently as possible. Not to mention, an easy-to-use security system reduces the chances of security risks from going unnoticed.
  • Remote management. Take control of your security system remotely. Cloud-based security systems allow you to manage permissions, provide access, and review entry logs no matter where you are. As a result, you can keep an eye on your property without being on-site.
  • Property-wide access. Secure your entire property, from the garage and front door to elevators and offices. The system you choose should be capable of securing any entry point or area in your nursing home. Therefore, you’ll simplify management and provide convenience to your employees.


Best nursing home access control system

The best access control system for nursing homes and senior living facilities is ButterflyMX.

ButterflyMX is a cloud-based access control company with more than 20,000 five-star reviews and is installed in more than 10,000 buildings. Our access control platform offers a property-wide solution, allowing you to control access from the front door and elevators to administrative areas and individual rooms.

Manage all of your access points remotely using the ButterflyMX mobile app or online dashboard. From there, you can view the detailed audit log, manage permissions, and integrate your system with existing software and hardware for a centralized experience.


ButterflyMX access control system encompasses:

  • Keypads. Support multiple access credentials with keypads that accept PIN codes, key cards, fobs, and the ButterflyMX mobile app.
  • Card and fob readers. Match our single gang and mullion readers to the needs of your facility while still enabling access via mobile app, key card, or fob.
  • Vehicle readers. Streamline access to parking facilities at your nursing home with our vehicle readers and windshield tags. When an authorized vehicle approaches the gate, the vehicle reader scans the tag located on the windshield and grants them access seamlessly.
  • Front desk station. Simplify visitor access at your nursing home with the front desk station software. This way, you can log visitor entries with time- and date-stamped photos and grant temporary access. When paired alongside the ButterflyMX video intercom, your front desk attendant can see and speak with visitors via a live video feed.
  • Elevator controls. Manage access to the floors of your long-term care facility by installing elevator controls. By doing so, your employees and visitors will only have access to levels their role has designated, preventing unauthorized personnel from accessing restricted areas.
  • Smart locks. Integrate your ButterflyMX access control system with a range of smart locks to help secure rooms or offices throughout your facility.


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Bryson Hile

I love learning about new technologies, especially within the real estate market. I currently reside in Fishers, Indiana.

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