Less Manpower; More ‘Smarts’
As the center has expanded into one of the country’s premier medical centers, its security needs have also grown accordingly. It has an extremely demanding security environment, with thousands of patients and visitors, and sensitive laboratory research being performed.
“We have to protect a very large academic medical center with both a teaching hospital and research labs,” said Kevin Tuohey, executive director of operations and public safety for the center. “We have an intentional design that doesn’t allow any one system to control all other systems. We are looking at how to move into a higher level of integration in a way that we are comfortable with and which builds in redundancy.”
Hands-on tech evaluationAlthough the medical center has worked with a variety of integrators, it has been very active in choosing, testing and implementing security solutions. The center’s philosophy has always been to find and deploy the best product for each individual task, such as access control, video surveillance and digital video recording. Because the center is a non-profit organization, it is very concerned with the efficient use of resources.
“We select products that we consider to be best in class, but we also try to use our financial resources very efficiently,” said Tuohey. “We’ve been testing and installing systems for 25 years.”
The center installed CASI access control hardware and Kalatel DVRs, brands that eventually were purchased by GE. Now, GE’s Picture Perfect access control and security surveillance software system is integrated into almost all facilities and communicates with a separate command and control center. Currently there are 6,000 registered cards issued for the access control system.
“We are using Picture Perfect as an integrated biometrics and proximity card access control system,” said Tuohey. “In high security areas, we have up to five separate security measures, including proximity card access, a security officer checking the cards, video surveillance, biometrics, and are in the process of implementing a two-person rule that is enforced with the card access and video systems.”
The medical center’s system also includes other GE products, including 360 surveillance cameras, such as the UltraView Dome camera with Xposure technology, 800 card readers, and VideoIQ, an intelligent video system that detects the actual presence of people in dynamic indoor and outdoor environments. This intelligent video technology processes images from surveillance cameras and tells operators when it spots people – versus movement by other sources – by drawing a red box around them right on the monitor screen.
Unusual uses“Some of our applications of Video IQ are unusual and innovative, uses we don’t publicly discuss because there are people who might attempt to breach our systems,” said Tuohey. “We are also working with GE to create very simple ways of auditing operations that are unusual and creative.”
Until recently, Tuohey preferred to have the system be complicated in the field and in the data room, and simple where the user has to interpret the information as a result of a strategy to use multiple systems and not have everything tied into one single system.
“With some products we’ve seen, we can overcome that concern by having a couple different locations rather than a couple different systems,” he said. “We’ve now chosen to become more involved with GE...their R&D strength allows our systems to do more than they were designed to do.”