Building a Better Hospital Security System, 1 Phase at a Time

Here’s how Rush University Medical Center embarked on an overhaul of its security systems to deploy a future-proofed integrated access control and video system.

Perhaps one of the most significant changes taking place at Rush University Medical Center is the recent introduction of a lockdown feature to provide greater security in emergency situations, such as if a gunman is reported near the hospital. Previously, hospital security officers had to manually lock down each perimeter door. Now, the new system offers a single emergency button and, with one push, security personnel can lock many doors at one time.

“They’ve taken it a step beyond what we’ve normally seen,” says Skwirblies about the lockdown mode. “By hitting a button to lock perimeter doors, they can catch the individual and provide greater security at the facility. We’re seeing more of that response by hospitals to these types of situations.”


Campus-Wide Migration Scheduled for 2012
While Rush University Medical Center has initiated and completed several major security projects in recent years, one of its biggest projects has yet to be finalized.

The hospital is in the process of constructing a brand new build
ing, called the East Tower, which is a 14-floor, 846,000 square-foot facility scheduled to be completed in 2012. With this new medical building will come the hospital’s complete campus-wide migration to C•CURE 9000 and the enterprise-based benefits presented by this access control management system for the entire hospital.

“Everything we have done to improve security at Rush University Medical Center has been with an eye towards deploying a single, enterprise-based and future-proof security management system,” said Freidenfelds. “Now, we’re nearing the finish line.”  

Campus at a Glance
Campus: Rush University Medical Center is an academic health center that encompasses a hospital for adults and children with more than 613 staffed beds (including Rush Children’s Hospital), the 61-bed Johnston R. Bowman Health Center for older adult and rehabilitative care and Rush University. It also operates Rush Oak Park Hospital.

The medical center employs more than 8,000 people. In 2010, U.S. News and World Report listed Rush University Medical Center as one of America’s Best Hospitals.

Challenge: Securing a downtown campus that spans four city blocks and encompasses 20 buildings while maintaining an open environment that is welcoming to patients, visitors and staff. Also, staff had to manually lockdown the facility during emergencies and conduct foot patrols to ensure the hospital was in compliance with fire codes.

Solution: Software House’s C•CURE 800/8000 access control system and video surveillance system from American Dynamics.

Results: Many doors on campus can be quickly locked down by security with the push of a button, and security can monitor the hallways and doors that go into alarm with the new video system.



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