Baltimore Integrator Adds 80 IP Cameras to Dated Hospital Surveillance System

BALTIMORE — Seeking to upgrade its aging analog video surveillance and security capabilities, Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) contracted with a local systems integrator to provide an IP-based solution integrated with access control technology.

Tele-Tector of Maryland Inc. (TTM) added 80 IndigoVision IP cameras to the system, and connected 110 existing cameras with the vendor’s encoder modules.  

TTM replaced a legacy access control system with Software House’s C•CURE technology.  The choice to use C•CURE was made easy because IndigoVision specially designed an integration module for the product. As a result,  IndigoVision’s Control Center video management software (VMS) serves as the heart of the system, allowing operators to monitor live and recorded video. It also consolidates the alarms from the access control system into a single user interface.

“The integration to the C•CURE access control is a key component,”  GBMC Director of Security Steve Cohen says. “We can now centrally see what is happening in real time and react via radio to security in the vicinity. The intuitive user interface of the control center allows us to deploy video workstations for both medical and security staff. In addition to the security teams, various departments have their own dedicated workstations allowing them to monitor their own areas.”

Among new system capabilities, hospital staffers can now quickly track down missing patients, respond to incidents in public areas, Cohen explains. Video can also be shared with the police by exporting evidential quality clips for use in court or investigations.

Located in Towson, Md., the 281-bed GBMC handles roughly 27,000 inpatients and 60,000 ER visits each year. Migrating the facility’s analog CCTV system to the IP-based technology did entail having to cope with occasional lapses in recording, TTM Project Manager Brett Elwood tells SSI.

“There was a little bit of down time, which meant a loss of video. We minimized what we could, but it was inevitable,” he says.

While GBMC has realized robust security enhancements and new efficiencies, the project, which began in 2006, continues today as TTM accommodate the hospital’s budgetary limitations. There are plans to add 21 cameras to the system to complete the surveillance coverage, as well as install a wireless point-to-point camera system at the main gate entrance.

The successful relationship between the integrator and its client is testament to the merits of providing excellence in customer service. In fact, an important reason why Cohen initially hired TTM was the integrator’s ability to provide on-call service. TTM staffs technicians onsite at GBMC on a regular basis. Communicating with Cohen and his staff weekly is also key.

“It was very hard for the hospital to get in contact with the service department it had been working with previously,” Elwood says. “They would place a call that would end up in California, and then it would be dispatched back to Baltimore. The security director was just furious with them.”

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