Abilene, TX––Hendrick Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals in the West Texas area serving referrals from 16 smaller hospitals in the surrounding counties. Known for its sophisticated trauma center and high level of care, the flagship 500-bed acute care center is undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion.
The center's expansion also includes the upgrade of its surveillance operation, which features a totally new workspace and technology transition from analog to IP, a new CCTV system that will eventually include 200 cameras, and a conversion from barcode to Proximity card readers. "A huge project," as Roger Dickey, Director of Security at Hendrick, rightfully describes it.
Assisting Dickey on the project is system integrator James Holden of Siemens. Holden explains that, along with providing the newer technology, he and Siemens were tasked to design a new workspace for the security guard monitoring staff with first destination radio, video, access control and alarm management. A new console was the starting point.
"Roger and I visited a security trade show in Dallas and looked at different furniture products," Holden explains. "We decided on Middle Atlantic's ViewPoint console because it was flexible, attractive and offered a lot of ergonomic options."
Dickey adds, "I'd never seen the Middle Atlantic furniture, but their staff was very helpful. I could sit down at their console and get a feel for what my guys were going to be looking at. I was also interested in their cable management system and how easy it would be for repair people to access the console.
"Because of the console's flexibility, I was able to try something very different this time around in terms of training my staff. I told them, 'you are the ones who're going to have to use this, so I need you to set up the camera views and how you want to use the console, not me.'
"This definitely put the challenge on my staff in terms of designing the views they receive and optimizing the console for their use. We have an event monitoring system tied to all of our alarms. Whether it's a motion or alarm activation of some sort, the system brings the event up to the spot monitor so the operator can decide whether or not it's a problem. This helps us manage these situations."
Reflecting Dickey's staff's criteria, the ViewPoint installed in the Center's surveillance workspace includes a console-mounted VisionFrame system to mount three large 46" monitors behind three 23" monitors attached to the console itself. The console also includes top-mount turret racks on both ends, which his staff uses to store an 800 MHz frequency police/fire radio. When covered, these also provide additional surface space on the console for printers and other devices.
In terms of ergonomics, "my staff really likes it," Dickey explains. "The way we've set up the console, we're not trying to watch all the cameras at a specific time. When someone hits an alarm alerting us to a problem, we can hit a salvo of multiple views and depend on that before moving on to the event monitoring system."
Dickey also wanted to display Hendrick's CCTV system in an ergonomically sensible and productive way in terms of how many cameras his team could view at one time.
"ViewPoint just seemed to work best for what the client wanted to do," adds Holden. "They needed more space horizontally. In changing over to IP we were converting from all of the older analog monitors, PCs and analog DVRs, so we needed a cohesive new approach for the guard personnel to manage the video and other systems.