Hospital access control

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System is a faith-based, not-for-profit health system. It is part of CHRISTUS Health and is comprised of more than 40 hospitals, inpatient and long-term care facilities as well as dozens of clinics, physician offices and health care services in more than 70 cities in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Mexico.

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa (CSR) formerly employed a well-known, established access control system, however the features were limited and it offered minimal integration potential. CSR management knew upgrading their access control system would require an extraordinary amount of coordination with the multiple departments involved, and the ability to handle the different security and access needs of these departments spread across multiple hospital campuses.

CSR's Director of Security and Environmental Safety, Mark Hart, had a quality working relationship with Steven Ballard of the integrator firm INET. Hart called him in for a consultation on options for upgrading CSR's access technology. Along with other technologies, Ballard provided Hart with a demo of Brivo Systems' technology and, a contract was later initiated.

The Solution

To date, the Brivo SE/XE OnSite access control solution has been installed at five of CSR's hospital campuses spread throughout South-Central Texas: the downtown San Antonio CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital - City Centre, CSR Children's Hospital, CSR Hospital - Westover Hills, CSR Hospital - Medical Center, and CSR Hospital - New Braunfels. The five hospitals combined have a total of 1,128 beds, nearly 3,900 Associates, and 2,000 physicians. The upgraded access control system manages approximately 210 doors spread among the campuses.

The initial installation for the new system was at the newest hospital campus, CSR Hospital - Westover Hills, where the system's servers are located. CSR and INET then proceeded to roll out installation to the other hospital campuses. "We did not want to manage two different access control databases," Hart says. "We were able to move from our successful installation at Westover Hills to the other targeted facilities by selling management on a plan that enabled us to keep all data and all access management under the one Brivo system, operated with a single Graphical User Interface."

The new access system provides CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System with the flexibility and level of control they require to manage the multiple needs of all the departments served and to organize the nearly 9,000 users into an impressive 127 groups - all with different privileges in terms of locations, days and time periods of access.

The solution provides management of more than 200 doors for approximately 9,000 users spread among the five hospital campuses. Each hospital can administer its own access locations, in addition to the centralized administration.

Hart and his team need manage only one database for all five hospitals, using a single user interface regardless of location or computer to perform all administrative functions.

In addition to overseeing access security at the five CSR hospitals, Hart and Ballard have been heavily involved in the on-going STRAC (Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council) initiative, which uses the supplier's technology to create a single card that enables physicians to visit multiple locations such as hospitals, pharmacies, labs, designated physician parking areas, secure locations in certain buildings and their own offices.

The STRAC Version 2 Universal ID Card is a credit card-sized FIPS 201-compliant (PIV-Interoperable) smart card. It stores a physician's personal digital identity and can only be accessed by the physician.

Planning is currently under way to create a database so that Brivo can automatically process authenticated Version 2 badges in a database file known as C.R.U.D. (Create, Revise, Update and Delete).

The supplier's technology is central to the ambitious STRAC project as it provides a model to benefit CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System as it continues to stay in the forefront of the STRAC unified badge initiative. Presently, CSR is the only health system in San Antonio where physicians can use the proxy/chip security feature on their STRAC Version 2 ID.

Based on system performance to date, Hart and his team are looking to expand the access control throughout the extensive CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System network of hospitals, clinics and other facilities.