24 Measures for Safe Keeping of Keys of Various Departments of a Hospital

3. Fixed timings for opening and closing.

4. Responsibility for opening and closing/locking the departments at the right timings, assigned to officials designated.

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5. A system of safe custody of original and duplicate keys of all the locks of all the departments.

6. A register of record of the original and duplicate keys of all the locks. Any change to be published in the administrative orders of the hospital.

7. Since, the original key holder cannot be present in the hospital in all the shifts and some departments have to be operational round the clock, the names/designations of key holders authorized to draw and deposit the original keys in all the shifts (as decided and communicated by the department head in writing) should be recorded.

8. The specimen signatures/initials of individuals authorized to draw and deposit the keys and the timings for drawing/depositing the keys should be available on record in the security office and the same should be amended, as a standard procedure, on change of staff.

9. All keys (original/duplicate) should be tagged with details such as given below.

Key No Original/Duplicate Department (abbreviation)

12 (O) or (D) PL-for pathology lab = 12(0)PL

10. No department should be allowed to use the keys/locks other than those officially issued and recorded in the security office.

11. Any loss of key will be immediately reported in writing to the MS office as well as the security officer through department head. The matter will be investigated by the security officer and the department head. The stores/equipment of the respective section/ cupboard/room should be verified by opening the lock with the help of the duplicate key, kept in the duplicate key box in the control room.

A new lock will be issued for use and the number of lock and the keys will be amended in all records officially. Even if the lost key is recovered later, that lock will not be allowed to be reused in any department.

12. Making/using triplicate keys will not be allowed without the official permission of the administrative authorities.

13. The duplicate and original keys will be kept safely in two separate but exactly similar boxes marked ‘Original Keys’ and ‘Duplicate Keys’ fixed securely on the wall in the control room.

The key boxes will be in the custody of the security officer/security supervisor on shift duty who will keep the original keys of the duplicate key box and the original key box in his personal custody (handed over on change of shift).

The duplicate keys of both the key boxes and the control room will be in the custody of the Medical superintendent.

14. The control room will never be left open unattended by the supervisor. In case, he has to suddenly leave in an emergency situation, he will first have a guard posted outside to prevent entry and attend emergency calls during his absence. Alternately, the room will be kept locked.

15. During the evening/night shifts when the security supervisor goes for rounds, the control room will be locked and the emergency calls from any department will be directed by the operator to the front desk or the mobile number of the supervisor.

16. The duplicate/original key boxes will be sturdy boxes (preferably of steel) covered on the front with glass and wire mesh, and fixed on the wall in such a manner that they cannot be removed from there.

17. Inside, the boxes will have hooks welded on the rear wall and every hook will have the key numbers painted next to it.

The duplicate keys will remain in the duplicate key box at their earmarked hooks and the original keys held by the departmental key holders will be deposited / kept on the respective hooks, in the original key box.

18. The key boxes will always remain locked accept while depositing/issuing the keys.

19. In the key issue/receipt register, following details will be provided:

a. Department’s name

b. Name of the key holder

c. Numbers of various keys

d. Individuals authorized to draw/deposit keys in different shifts

e. Specimen signature of the individual authorized to draw/deposit the keys

f. Time for deposit/withdrawal of keys.

20. The keys will be issued / deposited after signature of the individual authorized and the supervisor, noting down the time on the register.

21. No key holder will be allowed to take the keys home/outside the hospital with him/ her or hand over the keys to any unauthorized person. Any such action will be viewed seriously as a breach of security.

22. In the event of fire, the key boxes will be an item to be removed on priority.

23. The security officer will check the register every day to ensure that the keys are being handled as per the prescribed procedure. The register will also be inspected by the MS during his weekly rounds of the department.

24. Safety of the original keys will be the responsibility of the key holder. All efforts will be made by the key holders and the security staff to ensure their safety.