A few years ago, I was on site at a hospital to complete their yearly preventative maintenance on their Patient Security System. My inspection was going smoothly until it came time to do Final Exit Testing.

During Final Exit Testing at this hospital, the following is what should occur if everything is working as designed,
  • When a tagged patient exits through a set of double doors at the perimeter of the department, an exit alarm activates, alerting staff that a patient has left the safe area. 
  • With an exit alarm at these double doors, all doors and elevators beyond this exit will lock to prevent the patient from leaving the floor.
  • All these pieces need to work together to ensure the patient's safety and that they stay on the floor.


When I began exit testing, I found:
  • The alarm activated when the tag exited through the double doors as designed.
  • The secondary doors all locked as designed.
  • The elevator did not hold at the floor during the alarm.

So, my task ahead of me was to figure out why the elevator was not holding during the exit alarm. I began testing and troubleshooting the situation and everything on our end was working as expected. 

By design the system uses the same control for all exits including the elevator interface. Once I confirmed the elevator interface was activating on our side of the interface, I contacted maintenance and they quickly determined the cause of the problem.

Unbeknownst to IMS, the elevator was replaced a few months previous and the elevator vendor did not connect the new elevator control to the Hugs System interface relay. Had we known that the elevator was going to be replaced, we could have been proactive and worked with the elevator company to quickly integrate it into our system. Instead, the elevator had been left unsecured for months.

There are complex systems with several interfaces, completing monthly exit testing as recommended, ensures that the system is operating as designed. This could have been detected sooner during the recommended customer monthly exit testing and resolved much quicker.

My goal for this blog is to ask if you are completing your monthly exit testing as recommended? IMS provides exit testing worksheets that are custom designed to your system to guide the customer through the testing process, including a form to document the test results. Has your facility replaced any doors or elevators that may affect the performance of your patient security system?  Use the provided monthly exit testing guide to confirm that the system is performing as designed.  Can’t find your system documentation? Have your system administrator give us a call and we will discuss how you can complete your recommend exit testing.