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.

SWI installed 150 card readers in the hospital’s new wing. With the older access control technology, Jersey Shore employees were using mag stripe cards; however, the system was switched over to HID DuoProx II proximity cards. The integrator provided the HID MicroProx Tag to affix to the cards already utilized by employees to provide access to both the older and newer doors. (It should be noted that although the hospital has implemented the Pro-Watch system in its new construction, some areas are still deploying the old access system until it is converted.) New employees were issued the DuoProx cards, which will provide access to all parts of Jersey Shore.

The Pro-Watch system also works hand-in-hand with human resources and has a data transfer utility (DTU) software option to interface with the hospital’s HR system, should the hospital choose to utilize it, says Govel.
“When someone stops working at Jersey Shore, HR can remove that person from its records, and Pro-Watch automatically takes that person out of the access system,” he says. “The hand off between the systems is solid, if the hospital wants to implement this feature.”

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Network Video, Radio Frequency Expands Protection
Video surveillance is vital, as every hospital security director knows. Thus, Jersey Shore added 100 new cameras to its stock, bringing the total to 209 cameras, with 48 being deployed in the parking garage.

Initially using analog cameras, Brooks says his team needed to migrate to IP network video in order to give the police department access to video feed in the event of  a crisis. So, SWI installed Axis IP cameras with OnSSI video management software.

The video system is also flexible and provides the storage capacity required by the medical center. Brooks is impressed with the new video surveillance system because it allows his team to view video from multiple locations, such as the security control center and off-site offices. Because the hospital still deploys analog cameras, there is a plan to convert the entire legacy system to one platform in the future.

The placement of cameras also proved to be a test for both the hospital and the integrator because of privacy concerns in certain locations. Cameras were placed at common areas of the facility, including entrances, lobbies and high risk areas such as the pharmacies. Jersey Shore plans to add more camera
s throughout the hospital.

Additionally, SWI installed SecureWave panic alarms in the emergency department, crisis behavioral health unit and voluntary behavioral health unit. The alarms, which are fixed and portable, tie into the medical center’s Motorola two-way radios. When a panic alarm is activated, a pre-recorded message is distributed over a radio frequency to the security personnel’s two-way radios, informing them of where the incident is located. This has been a major help, according to Brooks.

“With the old system, when somebody hit a panic alarm, it would [set off an] alarm in security control on a device and then the security officer at control would have to dispatch a guard for that area,” he says. “Now, we’re cutting out a step and getting automatic response from our security team.”

While Brooks says the panic alarm system has been extremely beneficial in the emergency department, he notes that the radio frequency can only extend so far, which can be a challenge for such a large hospital.

SWI Builds Control Center from Scratch
The biggest challenge was moving the security control center from the old emergency department to the new one in one day, says Brooks. Also, the size of the new control center didn’t have the same specifications as the old one, so SWI, which specializes in metal fabrication and woodwork, had to create a custom console for the unit.

Realizing that there was a time crunch, the integrator worked quickly, and once the console was completed, all of the equipment from the older control center, including phones, computers, the legacy access control system and the video surveillance system, were moved. Jersey Shore stationed guards at each emergency department during the changeover to keep everything monitored.

“We’re very proud of the security control room set up because it gives us better ability to monitor all the activity in the hospital,” Brooks explains. “The design of the emergency department gives us the flexibility to walk through the entire building and make it more secure. That’s really been a staff pleaser.”

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