Baltimore hospital migrates to IP technology

Greater Baltimore Medical Center deploys integrated security solution


Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) has upgraded its aging analog CCTV and access control to a fully integrated security solution using IndigoVision’s IP Video technology. The 281-bed Medical Center is situated in Towson, a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, and handles approximately 27,000 inpatients and 60,000 ER visits each year.

When the original CCTV system and access control were becoming end of life, GBMC turned to system integrator Tele-Tector of Maryland, Inc. for advice. They recommended an integrated solution using IndigoVision’s IP Video and Software House C-Cure access control system.

Commenting on the success of the project, Steve Cohen, GBMC Director of Security, said, "The new system is rock solid with fantastic video and has transformed our surveillance operation. The integration to the C-Cure access control is a key component as we can now centrally see what is happening in real time and react via radio to security in the vicinity. This is important for patient and staff safety."

At the heart of the system is IndigoVision’s ‘Control Center’ Video Management Software (VMS). This enables operators to monitor live and recorded video and consolidates the alarms from the access control system into a single user interface. The access control system is interfaced to the IP Video using an IndigoVision integration module, specifically developed for the Ccure product. Tight integration helps to significantly improve operator response times in the event of an incident. Alarms raised in the access control system are immediately visible in ‘Control Center’ and can automatically trigger a number of events. For example, a camera can be panned to a pre-set position to view the entrance/exit involved and simultaneously display recorded video just prior to the alarm – allowing operators to monitor both the run-up to the incident and the live situation. IndigoVision has developed over 20 integration modules to interface to the most popular access control products as well as systems such as intruder security, EPOS, building management and license plate recognition.

IndigoVision’s system is based on a distributed and scalable architecture that doesn’t require a central server. Any component in the system, i.e. camera, video workstation or Network Video Recorder (NVR) can be located at any point on the network without increasing bandwidth on the IP network. GBMC has benefited from this, as Cohen explains:

"The intuitive user interface of ‘Control Center’ allows us to deploy video workstations for both medical and security staff. In addition to the security teams, various departments have their own dedicated workstations allowing them to monitor their own areas. This gives us the ability to quickly track down missing patients, respond to incidents in public areas and locate expensive equipment. We can also share video with the police by exporting evidential quality clips for use in court or investigations."

The flexibility of IP Video has allowed GBMC to migrate the existing CCTV system over a period of 4 years, to accommodate budgets and the hospital’s operation. All of the original 110 analog cameras have been re-used and connected to the network using IndigoVision’s encoder modules. The ease with which cameras can be added has resulted in an additional 67 IndigoVision IP cameras being added to areas such as waiting rooms, lobbies and hallways. A further 21 cameras are planned to complete the coverage. Tele-Tector is also working on installing a wireless point-to-point camera system at the main security gate entrance, utilizing IndigoVision’s High-Definition (HD) cameras for clarity in license plate recognition.