The Ins And Outs Of Healthcare Door Controls

Feb. 1, 2017
In access control systems for healthcare facilities, there is an emphasis on door operators, exit devices, exit alarms and access control keypads and delayed egress

Controlling entry, egress and internal movements within healthcare facilities is both demanding and rewarding.

In healthcare, your end-user or client is probably sick, aged or physically or mentally disabled to some extent.

You are also providing support for care givers. Care givers are usually working in less than ideal conditions, and can use as much help as they can get.

Although you are going to find a wide assortment of locking technology requirements in healthcare, in my own experience there is an emphasis on door operators, exit devices, exit alarms and access control keypads and delayed egress.

Door Operators

Door operators are highly visible, usually on main entry doors, and doors used to move patients in and out of the facility. In most cases low energy (rather than high energy) operators are employed since it is not desirable for doors to be opening constantly for all individuals entering and leaving the premises.

Door operators require adjustment, maintenance and inspection. Whether you are called upon to install, inspect or maintain low energy or high energy operators, it might be worth considering getting professional certification from the national trade association which is involved with automatic door operators, the American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers (AAADM), website

The AAADM was founded in 1994 with the following mission: to advance the interests of the automatic door systems industry; to increase education, training and professionalism among installers and service providers; and to generally promote the safe use of automatic doors.

They provide services to manufacturers of door operators and accessories, architects and specifiers of automatic door operators, installers, inspectors and dealers of automatic door operators, and end-users of automatic door operators, by disseminating information about the codes governing the manufacture and classification of door operators, providing a certification process for individuals who wish to be able to offer inspection and repairs, and a listing of member of companies  and certified inspectors that end-users can use to located qualified technical support in their area.

Becoming certified involves initial training, then periodic in-service training and re-certification.

Regardless of your technical background, obtaining door operator specific training makes you more aware of performance issues associated with door operators and the latest codes and technologies to make them safer.

Exit Devices

Life safety is a critical mission in all structures, but especially in healthcare, where, as mentioned, a substantial portion of the clients are likely to be in a less than optimal condition to survive in an emergency.

Exit devices are designed to make egress easy. There are few doors where you cannot use an exit device, and many door where you may be required to use them.

Building codes are constantly being reviewed and revised, so what might have been the code at some time in the past may no longer be approved.

Exit devices can be integrated into a variety of sophisticated door systems, mechanical, electronic or hybrid.

Exit Alarms

Exit alarms may be standalone or integrated into exit devices or delayed egress systems.

Exit alarms are especially useful when trying to contain individuals from escape, or elopement. High on list of most healthcare facilities is the fear of having a client escape and be injured. The exit alarm in all its forms gives care givers important seconds to respond to an unauthorized patient departure.

Access Control Keypads

Although virtually every door in a healthcare facility is locked, keys are generally considered too cumbersome and expensive to maintain. Staff turns over, keys are lost, and there is always the issue of non-authorized key duplication. Keypads, either mechanical or electronic, are preferred. The keypad can be a mechanical standalone, electronic standalone, or a keypad used to control an electric lock.

Keypads are also used to manually reset delayed egress  or forced door/door ajar alarms.

The keypad offers the convenience of not having to struggle with a keys, key management, missing or stolen keys or rekeys.

Delayed Egress

Delayed egress maglocks  are very versatile tools especially in healthcare. They can perform the following functions:

Monitor exits for unauthorized exit while also controlling ingress

Control traffic in both directions through a door

Provide an alarm if the door is opened without authorization

Provide instant egress in the event of a fire alarm.

Provide external connection points for remotely controlling, resetting and monitoring.

Delayed egress is referred to as a special locking arrangement, and in every case, approval of the AHJ must be obtained, best if it in writing, prior to signing a contract or beginning the installation.

Below are some of the access control products well-suited to healthcare applications

SDC Exit Annunciator

The SDC Exit Annunciator™ is a highly visible multi-color signal device  that interfaces with delayed egress or SDC electromagnetic locks, plus many other manufacturers’ electromagnetic locks. and can be used as a wall, ceiling, or frame mount indicator. Features include:

• Easy installation

• Suitable for retrofit or new construction

• Multi color LED technology

• Externally selectable color modes of Red, Green, Blue, White, Yellow and Purple

• Externally selectable Solid or Flashing Modes Features Dimensions: 8-5/8" x 1-1/2" x 3/4"

Electrical: 12/24 VDC @ 160mA Long life LED output

SDC’s Annunciation Bar can upgrade all existing SDC’s Delayed Egress and standard EMLocks, plus many other manufactures electromagnetic locks. The Annunciation Bar is highly visible from any angle due to multiple color LED light with rolling signals. It interfaces with Delayed Egress devices for forced entry or unauthorized exit signaling. The built-in sensors will activate a local and/or remote alarm upon attempted force entry before the door has been compromised.

More Info:

Norton Door Controls ADAEZ Pro

The 5800 Series ADAEZ PRO is a compact electromechanical door operator that is simple to install and use. This heavy-duty, low energy operator is ideal for retail outlets, banks, schools or universities, casinos and hospitals. Available for push or pull side mounting, this robust, non-handed operator ships standard with integral RF receiver and two wireless pushbuttons.

A Regenerative Power System charges an onboard battery pack that eliminates the need to run electrical wire to the unit. When used in automatic mode 25% of the time or less, the 5800 Series ADAEZ PRO will self-generate enough power to charge the battery pack for up to 12 years. Available for push or pull side mounting, this robust, non-handed operator ships standard with two wireless RF push buttons. 

Not sure what to order? Try the 5800 ADAEZ PRO COMPLETE, which bundles all of the unique configurations of the PRO and PRO PLUS into one package. The COMPLETE unit can be mounted on either the push or pull side of the door and will work as a regenerative power system or as a continuous duty operator. It also includes both black and aluminum dress covers.

More Info:


This product from Securitron Magnalock Corp. is a highly configurable and reliable self-contained delayed egress solution: Integrated Movement Exit Delay with Advanced Technology

iMXDa helps prevent peril to persons/patients and property loss/theft for businesses. Applications include dementia wards, hospitals, dormitories, airports, child care facilities and retail or warehouse environments. Installation requires no alteration or replacement of existing fire-rated or non-fire-rated latching hardware. False triggering is eliminated by up to 1" of authorized door movement.

Features & Specifications:

  • Holding Force: 1200 lbs. [544 kg]
  • Current Draw and Voltage: 370mA max at 12VDC; 270mA max at 24VDC
  • Operating Temperature: +32 to +104F [0 to +40C]
  • New shorter 12.5" overall length will fit most any door with a closer installed
  • Automatic dual voltage - no field adjustment required
  • Bracket-mounted design improves strength and installation time
  • Microprocessor monitored BondSTAT magnetic bond sensor (MBS) and integrated door position switch (DPS) standard
  • Reverse action plunger allows for adjustable alarm initiate gap from 1/8" [3.2mm] to 1" [25mm]
  • Bright LEDs indicate unit status from the secure side of the door
  • DIP switch selectable options:
  • Nuisance alarm times - 0 to 3 seconds
  • Irrevocable delay times - 15 or 30 seconds - user selectable
  • External bypass delay times - 0, 5, 10 or 15 seconds
  • Post alarm reminder - user selectable
  • Bypass expiration alarm - user selectable
  • Manual relock or delayed automatic relock (BOCA) - user selectable
  • External alarm relay isolated dry contact (1A at 24VDC)
  • External reset
  • iEXD version allows alarm initiation via an external panic device
  • UL Listed
  • MagnaCare® lifetime replacement, no fault warranty

More Info:

Trine 4100DBDL Electric Strike

Trine’s split latch solution strike, the Model 4100DBDL, is ideal for healthcare applications, with two independently operable latches to handle both the dead latch and deadbolt part of the lockset. The patient can have privacy and in an emergency, the person in charge can open both the deadbolt and deadlatch side of the electric strike.

TRINE 4100DBDL Features:

  • Independently moving latches -- Top and bottom latch unlock with separate mechanisms.
  • BHMA Grade 1 Electric Strike -- heavy duty construction, 1,000,000+ Life cycles -- 3,250+ lbs. Holding Force
  • Five popular faceplates included -- including the 5 most used faceplates for most mortise lock configurations plus the open plates.
  • Low Current Draw -- .240 Amp at 12DC makes it very PoE Friendly 12 & 24DC :: 12 through 24 AC.
  • All the low voltage and amperage flexibility you need. Please note that electronics are for individual solenoids -- and the 4100DBDL may have both units activated at the same time.
  • Patent pending -- 4100 Series Patented # US20110241361
  • Can be ordered configured fail secure or fail safe on both latches or customized for the individual latches.


Warnok Hershey Fire Rated

Class A, 3 Hour fire rated single door / frame configuration

WH recognized for UL10C, Fire Tests of Door Assemblies

UBC 7-2, Uniform building Code

CAN4 S104, Standard Method for Fire Tests of Door Assemblies

NFPA 252 - Issue: 1999/01/01 Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Door Assemblies

NOTE: WH fire listing is void when using fail safe action.

UL LISTED - 1034 Burglary Resistant ^^^PENDING^^^^

ANSI/BHMA A156.5 - 1992 - 4-7/8" x 1-1/4" Fits

More Info:

Yale® 6000 Series

Yale Commercial, an ASSA ABLOY Group company, has expanded its 6000 Series exit devices with a full range of electromechanical options.

The ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 certified Yale® 6000 Series exit device is offered in rim, mortise, SquareBolt®, surface and concealed vertical rod configurations, and now features an array of electromechanical options. These options include: electric latch retraction; electric dogging; alarm; and touchbar; trim, and latchbolt monitoring.

These features allow the 6000 Series exit device to easily integrate into existing alarm or access control systems, providing upgraded security for office buildings, healthcare, retail spaces and mixed-use environments.

Yale electrified exit devices and trims are equipped with ElectroLynx® connectors. Standard on the 6000 Series, these “plug & play” connectors link power from the incoming source to electrified locking products from ASSA ABLOY Group brands, including hinges, locks, exit devices, magnetic holders and strikes.

More Info:

System Galaxy Access Control

Galaxy Control Systems’ System Galaxy Access Control Software provides traditional thick client, mobile device applications, and web-based thin client user interfaces on a SQL-based, virtual/host or client/server architecture.

System Galaxy offers client- or mobile-driven system lockdown capability by specified door or entire facility. The software supports all legacy Galaxy hardware and infrastructure.

Features include active directory support for real-time identity management, individualized identity-based door access, and audit reports for each screen view or credential holder

Galaxy Control Systems has recently released two new mobile apps that enhance the unique capabilities of System Galaxy. Each app is designed to provide users with greater control capabilities for common functions related to facilities and people from anywhere and at any time.

“Given the growth of mobile technologies, users expect to be able to control their facilities and people from wherever they are, without needing to be tied to a desk or terminal,” said Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. “These two mobile apps are designed to put the power of System Galaxy in the palm of authorized users’ hands to make access control management more convenient, efficient and effective.”

The DoorPoint app provides authorized security personnel with the ability to manage a facility’s doors to enhance security. Through the app, users can remotely lock, unlock and pulse doors, view door status and activity report data from System Galaxy. Additionally, DoorPoint allows users to save certain doors and clusters for easy access and streamlined operation. In an emergency situation, the app also allows security personnel to activate and reset crisis modes if necessary and to view current crisis mode status.

PersonPoint allows authorized users to activate and de-activate cardholders remotely, with the added benefit of viewing e-mail activity reports provided by System Galaxy. Users can search for cardholders by name, department or other data fields, further enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of access control software. Both DoorPoint and PersonPoint apps are available for download at Android and Apple stores.

More Info:

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.