Spotlight on Jersey Shore U. Medical Center’s Security Overhaul

Having completed an expansion and renovation of its facility, this hospital hired a local integrator to finish upgrading its access control and video surveillance systems. The changes resulted in improved security and fewer maintenance issues.

When Neptune, N.J.-based Jersey Shore University Medical Center started construction for its “Transforming Care” project in 2006, the goal was to create a facility that met the demands of the region’s growing community. The $300 million expansion and renovation included the 213,000-square-foot Northwest Pavilion, which houses the emergency department, and the 109,000-square-foot Mildred  Rosa Diagnotic and Treatment Center, which are both connected by the new Kurr Atrium lobby. A 1,000-car parking garage was also included in the project.

Hospital administrators had much to consider during the renovation and expansion process. With the responsibility for protecting approximately 3,000 employees, 100 students and nearly 450 visitors per day, it was important for Jersey Shore to upgrade its existing security system, while not disrupting the daily operations.

The facility was already deploying digital video recorders (DVRs) and an OnSSI video management system, along with a card access system, in its older buildings when the new structures were developed. Jersey Shore personnel realized that a local integrator was needed to assist with the security upgrade. The hospital had two separate integrators servicing the existing systems – one local and one from out of state – who were operating independently at the site. When the hospital had maintenance issues with the access control system, it was challenging for the service provider responsible for the access control portion to deliver the level of service Jersey Shore required because it was several states away. Hospital personnel then decided to find a single source integrator that could service both the access control and the video platforms.

Luckily, Service Works Inc. (SWI) of Farmingdale, N.J., was referred to the hospital to assist with the project. Its integrators immediately got to work to complete the installation. SWI installed the Honeywell Pro-Watch Corporate Edition access control system, Axis IP cameras and OnSSI video management software with an Intransa storage solution.

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SWI Joins the Installation Process
Because the installation was substantially underway when SWI joined the project, the company’s goal was to provide fast track engineering, which meant allocating the right manpower to get the job completed in a reasonable amount of time. It wasn’t easy, of course. SWI had to analyze the current conduits that were already in place and make changes to the cable routings and hardware already in the process of being deployed by the previous vendor, according to Stephen Govel, president of SWI.

Once that was completed, the integrator was able to add the systems to the two additional new buildings and upgrade the security at the medical center’s childcare center, which is used for children of the employees. As with the parking structure, access control and video surveillance cameras were a necessity for these buildings, as well as intercoms and panic alarms.

Deploying an upgraded system to the Early Childhood Education Center proved to be a challenge for SWI because of a gated parking area, designated for employees. When the fire department arrived to approve the final plan for the structure and parking, it became clear that fire trucks were not able to get into the facility because islands restricted access. Therefore, the contractor had to remove a portion of the recently installed concrete gate islands, which, unfortunately, was where the card reader pedestal was located.

“The card reader had to be installed 10 to 14 feet back from the gate so cars wouldn’t hit it when they pulled up,” Govel explains. “We had to make extensions off the actual gate housings and bring the reader back out another three or four feet to get the card reader to read without a car hitting the gate.”

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New Access System Can Be Easily Serviced
When choosing the proper products they wanted to deploy in the hospital, Jersey Shore personnel didn’t take the job lightly. Knowing that it was difficult to get service for the access control system already in place, it was important to find a product that was not only easy for security staff to use, but also something that could be easily serviced and maintained.

“We knew we wanted to get a system that was recognizable through the industry, and we had done our homework on the various systems,” explains Jersey Shore Corporate Director of Risk Management David Brooks. “Honeywell is well-known, and there are many dealers who know how to operate it. [Pro-Watch] was a better system [than the one we had been using].”

Additionally, Govel maintains that the Honeywell system will allow the hospital to operate in an off-line mode if network connectivity is lost.

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