Multi-Facility Security Standardization

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

As part of the transition, iSTAR controllers from Software House were installed in IT closets throughout the YNHH network. Because the data closets are very small, there is little space for technicians to move around making it difficult to perform on-site programming; however, using the product’s Configuration Utility (ICU), technicians could easily perform remote programming, which was a great benefit to the hardware transition.


Video Surveillance

In tandem with the access control project, Johnson Controls set out to upgrade YNHH’s analog CCTV system to a more modern IP surveillance network that would allow for a similar centralized command and control approach. Using the victor unified video management system from American Dynamics, which merges video from IP and analog devices into a single, unified interface, security personnel can view feeds from more than 800 cameras from the central command center on York Street.

In addition, the hospital installed its first thermal imaging camera, which is also running on the management system. YNHH installed the camera to monitor an employee parking at its North Haven Medical Center. The thermal imaging camera enables YNHH to see through the foliage of the trees and track the heat of people and works in conjunction with surveillance cameras, emergency phones and the ability to dispatch based on suspect activity.

“The deployment of this new centralized management platform will integrate the hospital’s disparate security systems together to make YNHH’s overall security operation and response more efficient and effective,” says Michael Parks, an account executive with Johnson Controls. “The ability to see both video and access alarms on one unified platform provides the necessary information to the officers monitoring the security operations.”

The system has made migrating to IP cameras an easy transition. New facilities, like the New Haven off-site emergency room and an ambulatory care center scheduled to open in early 2013 with more than 20 IP cameras and about 30 card readers, can be easily added to the hospital’s IT network. Simple PoE switches feed the video back to the hospital’s server farm in New Haven, where it’s recorded on a bank of 22 VideoEdge network video servers.

In all, Yale-New Haven’s 900 cameras — about 150 of which are analog — are viewable on five 42-inch monitors in the security control center facility at the hospital’s main campus. All other systems, such as the hospital’s Motorola radio system and PPM 2000 incident management software are also centralized there. More than 150 panic alarms from the hospital’s Lynx Duress and Mass Notification System, deployed in areas such as Psychiatrics and the Adult Emergency Department, are also fed back to the dispatch facility and the C•CURE system.


System Pays Dividends

Centralized reporting functions, as part of the access control software, were also an integral part of the new systems’ success. A Business Intelligence Reporting Suite (BIRS) is able to provide White and his team with customized reports from the C•CURE system that can be provided to other directors within the hospital network. Those reports could include card reader usage over a given period of time or specific data on badge holders who accessed a particular area over the previous weekend.

“A standardization project of this size, with nearly 5 million square feet of real estate will allow us to monitor, track and analyze everything with greater ease,” White says. “We will have a snapshot of the system history at any given time, and we will know what types of things need to be attended to and how we can continue to improve.”

The new access and video systems have also allowed the hospital to enhance other areas of its operations, including internal food theft in cafeteria locations. A number of card readers are installed on refrigerators and freezers, while new cameras in a cafeteria are mounted above cash registers.

The benefits from a standardized, enterprise level security upgrade can also help YNHH comply with the many industry regulations that govern hospital operations. For example, the hospital is currently exploring how the access and video systems can streamline YNHH compliance with new rules from The Joint Commission concerning the storage of certain prescription narcotics by using electronic locks and card readers tied into the access control system.