Verticle Markets: A Prescription for a Lucrative Business

The healthcare industry can be a very lucrative market for the sale of all types of security systems, from access to intrusion to fire and safety and video. A dealer integrators' initial sale is typically just that, a beginning of many systems to come. Plus, many facilities today are interconnected, meaning that the site you visit is just one of many places where systems will be installed.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey serves as the state's university of health sciences and is the largest such institution in the country. It encompasses research and teaching facilities, as well as patient clinics and hospitals. On any given day, the university's network of five schools, spread across five cities, is accessed by up to 18,000 students, researchers, teachers, patients and employees. Securing each facility is a primary concern of the university. When it sought to improve security throughout its campuses, the university looked for a single system that could tie all of its properties together. Its aim was to make the facilities both highly accessible and highly secure at the same time.

"One of the basic goals of this system is patient control, keeping patients from going where they should not be," states Sgt. Frank DeMarzo, communications supervisor in charge of communications for the Public Safety and Police Departments on the main Newark campus. "There is also the protection of pharmacies and cash. The perception of security is in itself a deterrent and some of the campuses are in somewhat rough areas (such as the main campus in Newark)."

The university chose Access Control Technologies of Clifton, N.J. to perform the installation of GE's Picture Perfect Enterprise access control system, along with a GE video surveillance system. The enterprise access control system is networked to serve all five campuses. The universitys' security system has evolved from a $100,000 investment in 1993 to over $2 million today. The university's ultimate goal was to tie all security systems together, from access control to CCTV to intrusion detection.

It is a very complex system with dual credential-based access control with 22,000 users, including multiple-level access at certain points. At any given time, there are 400 digital inputs/outputs on the system. The university recently upgraded its CCTV system to GE's Triplex digital video multiplexer-recorders with Ethernet capability and plans to add 75 new cameras. The security staff can record, play and view surveillance activity simultaneously with digital day/night pan-tilt-zoom cameras stationed throughout the five campuses.

The surveillance system has 900 gB hard drives, so the university can store images for almost seven months. It also integrates with the access system, allowing officials to call up instant live video and recordings of alarm conditions and system activity.

Currently, the predominant card reader is the GE Security magnetic stripe reader, but the university is migrating to dual credential readers that also accept proximity cards throughout its campuses. The proximity cards are integrated with patient accounts. When patients present their card, their medical record is accessed.

The video system uses fiber optic cable for transmission in about three-quarters of the property with GE equipment at each end of the fiber run. The CCTV system integrates into its access control and HVAC counterparts using GE's Facility Commander platform. According to DeMarzo, this is especially important because he will be taking over the monitoring of fire sensors, adding 200,000 alarm points to his supervisory realm.

A Solution for Transmission
JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, FL., recently completed a $76 million expansion. As part of its security upgrade, unshielded twisted pair (UTP) wire was chosen to transmit video signals from cameras to monitors via existing equipment, saving time and money on both installation and maintenance. Security dealer Florida State Fire & Security used NVT's transmitters, transceivers, receivers and hubs for this installation.

"Hospitals are very noisy environments, electrically speaking, with lots of high voltage lines and equipment. It is a nightmare," says Gary Perlowin of Florida State Fire & Security, who installed the Network Video Technologies (NVT) system. "We installed 64 GANZ (CBC) ZC

Series dome cameras with built-in NVT transmission modules. So, right out of the camera you see UTP, which is a big time saver," states Perlowin.

The state-of-the-art, 424-bed facility is now three times the size of the previous one. Security was a prime concern during the renovation. JFK Medical Center installed a new video surveillance system with 64 dome cameras and chose UTP cable for CCTV transmission. All new cable was laid.

UTP cable is generally 22 or 24AWG copper wire that is twisted into pairs, with each pair color coded for easy tracing. Bundles can range from 2 to 2400 pairs and are available in plenum, PVC, direct burial, gopher resistant, aerial and more. UTP is categorized into grades depending on certain characteristics of the cable. Category (Cat) 2 cable is what most 20-year and older buildings have installed for their phone systems. Cat 3 cable has a tighter twist and better performance. Cat 2 or 3 cable is perfectly adequate for CCTV applications.

"The system allows for quick deployment and easy camera additions once the cable is installed," Perlowin reports. "UTP systems are also very cost effective when there are more than ten cameras and the distances extend around a large hospital campus wiring scheme."

Enhancing Security, Patient Privacy and Business Processes
Protecting the integrity of medical records is critical in the healthcare environment. Audit trail is a feature that is especially helpful in this regard. The audit trail allows a security official to view modifications made to essential data fields such as the level of security clearance?ultimately protecting sensitive company and personnel information.

This feature is especially useful for healthcare companies charged with protecting medical records due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA includes provisions that mandate the adoption of federal privacy protections for individually identifiable health information. Companies not meeting the requirements set forth in HIPAA could face large civil fines and criminal penalties.

"As companies look to meet federal regulations such as HIPAA, auditing changes to security systems becomes vital," comments Paul J. Piccolomini, vice president of research and development for Tyco's Access Control and Video product lines. "With the new full field level audit functionality, a trail of information will exist to unveil any modifications made to the access control system?indicating who changed the data, when it was changed, and what the data was before the change."

Hospitals, insurance agencies and other healthcare companies can now use the audit trail feature within Software House's C-CURE to help meet this provision. C-CURE 800 (version 8.2) now includes enhanced audit trail capabilities to address HIPAA compliance. In addition to the audit trail feature, other enhancements such as database partitioning simplify the provisioning process to improve both security and business processes.

Biometric enrollment support is an additional feature of the latest C-CURE. Through supporting various biometrics?such as fingerprint verification?the C-CURE ID badging system enhances security without the need for customers to invest in new card and reader technology. C-CURE 800/8000 is a scalable access control system, which seamlessly integrates numerous applications including digital video, ERP, visitor management, and HR systems and third-party devices such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems and burglar alarms.

From the Maternity Ward to Medicine Cabinets
Consider offering offline locking systems to healthcare facilities. Ranging from traditional door openings to individual cabinet and keypad locks, they represent opportunities for you and solutions to your customers. Many customers can't afford online access to a large number of doors. There are still many rooms, from medical supply closets to individual doctors' offices at hospitals, that need tighter access. The beauty of computer managed (CM) locking systems is that they work with a variety of access control credentials. Securing computer rooms and sensitive patient data has a new urgency for healthcare providers, such as Sloan-Kettering, which secures its computer room with a CM locks from Schlage.

In reality, most healthcare customers have more offline opportunities for you than online opportunities. It's estimated that the typical installation has only 10-20 percent of its openings accessed via an online system. That leaves an additional 80-90 percent of all doors available to you to protect with offline locking systems.

Instant Access to Vital Medical Information
"What fits in the palm of your hand and puts medical data right at your fingertips?" asks the flyer from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-Hamilton, an acute care community hospital located in Hamilton Square, NJ. Patients know it's the Smart Health Card, which resembles a credit card and is embedded with a magnetic stripe that is encoded with the patient's medical record number. At registration or in the Emergency Department (ED), one swipe through a reader?interfaced with the hospital's registration system ? and medical staff has immediate access to vital medical information.

"The community and hospital have reacted favorably to the Smart Card program," relates Barbara Forsyth, Hospital In-Patient Admissions. The Smart Card program is based on the Patient Card System implemented by Health Card Solutions of Forest Lake, MN. This integrator provides customized health card systems to medical institutions nationwide. As at Robert Wood Johnson-Hamilton, Health Card Solutions specializes in creating a fit between a hospital's patient identification card and its existing hospital information system.

The Smart Card program, according to Forsyth, facilitates the registration process because Admissions staff does not have to search by name or social security number, which reduces the incidence of duplicate medical records. "In our first two years of this program, we've printed over 60,000 Smart Cards," reports Forsyth. "Weekly, we continue to print about 100 cards on request from the community per week."

To print cards, the Hospital employs two Zebra P310 card printers. The standalone P310 prints sharp, readable bar codes, ID photos, graphics and text, edge-to-edge, in seconds. Its easy-to-load, low maintenance design makes it simple for anyone to operate. Green, yellow and red LED indicators provide easy-to-understand printer status. Printer ribbon synchronization is automatic, eliminating the need for operator intervention. An easy to change, self-cleaning cartridge thoroughly removes dust before printing, minimizing missing dots and color registration problems.

Forsyth adds, "Almost everyone in our community is registered. We also attend community and corporate health fairs, we input data into our systems and simply print out the smart cards. It's simple and effective."