Security Innovation Awards Silver Medal: Leadership and innovation merge to secure Houston-based hospital system

Major security retro fit for legacy systems for 13-hospital group in Houston


In a previous attempt to upgrade the system, Memorial Hermann encountered a tremendous amount of issues resulting from an offline system and unlocked doors. It was extremely important for the conversion to work properly the first time without leaving Memorial Hermann vulnerable.

The team soon developed a migration path that converted each site one component at a time. To accomplish this, Tech Systems used a fail-safe mockup of the new system and operated it for a full week prior to deactivating the old system. Once the testing period was complete the original C•Cure 800 machines ran alongside the new C•Cure 9000 platform, as scripts extracted the data and then imported the data into the new platform. The team then tested each system, one component at a time.

The collaboration between our team, Tech Systems and Software House was critical. The conversion is successful and the deployment has been on track as a result of our close partnership and ongoing communication efforts. The frequency of our conference call schedule symbolizes the progress we’ve made in the project. In the beginning we would hold daily conference calls to keep everything on target. As we progressed we adjusted to weekly conference calls. Now we are far enough along that we are preparing an adjustment to monthly calls.

As the focus changed from converting the old system to operating the new system, Tech Systems, Software House and Memorial Hermann staff collaborated to establish a set of go-forward standard operating procedures for managing credentials and continuous updates.

 

Adjustments to the System

Badging: Memorial Hermann recently re-branded the organization which created one large unexpected project -- rebadging for approximately 30,000 badge-holders. This process could have easily become a logistical nightmare with so many partitions, schedules and the vast number of badges that needed to be re-printed. I contacted some other vendors to get pricing for the cards and then came to the realization that Tech Systems could incorporate this into the ongoing service agreement.

Tech Systems works closely and directly with the Memorial Hermann HR, IT and engineering departments to ensure the database is continuously updated for accuracy, provisioning and de-provisioning of credentials.

An integration between Memorial Hermann’s iTRUST HR database and C•Cure 9000 has helped automate the database updates and has created new efficiencies and improved the integrity of our data.

Hugs Management: There are many different perspectives and stakeholders in every department at every location of Memorial Hermann, and like any change, reorganizing the way the Hugs system was managed created some new resistance.

The nurses that were in charge of managing the Hugs system were deeply passionate about the way things were operating. So coming in and offering to manage it wasn’t quite like offering to carry in a bag of groceries. They had spent their own time learning how to use it and were proud of their abilities to do so. They also have emotional relationships with the very infants we are monitoring and felt uncomfortable delegating any of that process.

To provide the security department with oversight capabilities while allowing the nursing staff to continue caring for the patients, we cross-trained our staff and leveraged the nurses’ expertise. This allowed us to more intelligently integrate our security procedures into their baby-birthing procedures.

 

Conclusion

While much of the hardware and infrastructure remains from the days before I joined Memorial Hermann, and before Tech Systems took over as Memorial Hermann’s security integrator, the conversion project has been in process for over a year and will continue for several more months. The collaboration and true partnership between every leg of this 3-legged stool has made for a very smooth transition. This team has demonstrated true professionalism - and the patients, staff and visitors of the Memorial Hermann organization will reap the rewards of our hard work for years to come. We held Tech Systems to high standards with performance reports and benchmarking against national benchmarks and internal benchmarks.