The Hybrid Mix of It All

Dec. 1, 2011
Midwest Integrated Solutions helps Provena Covenant Medical Center secure its campus with a hybrid mix of IP and analog video surveillance.

Imagine you’re a director of security at a major healthcare facility and you depend upon a DVR to capture and store all video from your security cameras. All is well, right?

Not so fast. Now imagine that the DVR you depended upon stops, quits recording and all is lost. It could happen. In fact, it did happen to Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana, Ill., where the security department lost an entire terabyte of data—up to 45 days of recording from 16 to 32 cameras.

“We were using two older models of DVRs when the newer of the two crashed,” said Marcus Johnson, director of Security for Provena. Bradley, Ill.-based Midwest Integrated Solutions, a multi-systems integrator experienced in past projects on the site, advised a mix of analog and IP-based surveillance. “We knew we had to do the right thing and it was in perfect timing with the remodel of our maternal unit at the medical center,” Johnson continued.

When hybrid is just right

“We wanted to provide a solution where the end user was spending their money on a system that would work with both analog and IP systems, giving them more choices for future installations,” said Chris Sorenson, Midwest Integrated Solutions.

The analog/IP mix of surveillance securing Provena Covenant includes:

  • Salient Systems’ CompleteView Video Management System (VMS),
  • 3Ware RAID capabilities
  • Four AXIS Communications’ P3343 IP cameras

With CompleteView, if a client wants to target a specific time or date, the already networked video is recalled to a specific time/date stamp for that moment in time they want to review.

“The system allows the end user to be able to playback video while watching live video,” said Sorensen. “Provena Covenant Medical Center is able to store video in three-minute segments, a vital component when you are talking about retrieving a video clip for further review,” he added.

Johnson agreed, noting that the playback of analog video provides better coverage and an improved image quality.

“We have long hallways in the medical center and before we really couldn’t see the direction that a person would turn down the long hallway,” he said. “Now, it is much different as we can follow employees, staff or patients and see the direction that they turn.”

While the medical center hasn’t converted to a full IP video surveillance solution yet, they also don’t have to be convinced it is the right thing to do when it’s time for a change.

The only thing holding Provena Covenant back from a total IP solution is cost. But as it comes down, current systems fail or when remodeling takes place, IP-based video surveillance systems will be added to the mix. And while this medical center is starting small with its foray into IP video surveillance, they are on the right track.