Multi-Facility Security Standardization

Inside Yale-New Haven Hospital’s access control and video upgrade


It is an institution that boasts several medical firsts — the first X-ray in the United States in 1896, the first to use chemotherapy to treat cancer in 1942 and, in 1949, the development of the world’s first artificial heart pump.

For Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), a 1,500-bed tertiary care hospital with world-renowned specialties in pediatrics, cancer treatment and psychiatrics, technological advancements are part of its DNA. The teaching hospital for the prestigious Yale School of Medicine, YNHH is the flagship facility of Yale New Haven Health System, Connecticut’s largest healthcare system, which encompasses a host of other treatment facilities dotting New England’s southern shoreline.

The YNHH organization and its parent health system occupy buildings that range from brand new to more than 150 years old. The cornucopia of access control and video surveillance technologies that accompanied these facilities, ranging in size, age and technologies, presented their own integration challenges for security and safety staff.

Hospital security officials knew an upgrade to this disparate and diverse array of equipment would allow them to centralize the management and maintenance of security operations of the major YNHH facilities, a list that includes such locations as the former Hospital of Saint Raphael Campus, a neighboring New Haven hospital that YNHH acquired in September 2012. Other sites include a new large, off-site IT Administration and Outpatient Clinical Care facility in nearby North Haven and eight other major satellite inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. This streamlining would represent savings not only for Protective Services’ Security Technology Division, but also for Patrol Operations, which performs foot and vehicle patrols, security response units, emergency dispatch, and locksmith duties for all YNHH facilities.

 

Access Control

On the access control side, the realization that the hospital’s existing platform would no longer give YNHH a technological edge occurred during the construction of Smilow Cancer Hospital in 2009, a 17-story, 500,000-square-foot building. Because the system was not scalable to meet the needs of the new building, this marked a turning point for the hospital and the direction of the security technology, explains Marvin White, Manager of Physical Security and Protective Services for Yale-New Haven Hospital. “We knew that our mix of different systems was not giving us the critical information we needed to make the split-second and strategic decisions about our ongoing security operations,” White says. “Not only did we need to have this information for our own department, but we lacked the system intelligence to provide that information to the rest of our organization.”

With a new technology direction that involved Johnson Controls, which was selected as the systems integrator for Smilow Cancer Hospital, and an upgrade and expansion of the video and access systems, YNHH chose the C•CURE 9000 security and event management platform from Software House. The team carved out a phased approach that would ultimately transition more than 12 individual sites onto the system over the hospital’s robust central network.

“Staying ahead of the technology curve is paramount in keeping patients, visitors, and staff safe,” says Nicholas Proto, the hospital’s Director of Parking and Transit Protective Services.

The multi-tiered plan would also include the significant undertaking of updating access credentials for more than 12,000 workers in the YNHH network as well as additional personnel from Yale New Haven Health System. This massive upgrade would affect over 1,000 doors and readers in the YNHH network alone.

To accomplish such a comprehensive and multi-stage migration and expansion — and avoid issuing brand new credentials to nearly 20,000 employees — Johnson Controls devised a strategy to run the new access control system on the front end using proximity technology with the legacy access control system running in the background to support the existing magnetic stripe cards. Workstations running both access systems were placed next to each other and both tied to the HR database for new badge creation.

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