Hospital car parks are typically very busy, especially during visiting hours. Late at night they become lonely, poorly lit areas, tempting assaults, vandalism and theft. Staff on night shifts often have to rely on security guards to escort them to their vehicles, therefore leaving other areas unattended.
The cost of having additional security staff on hand might be tolerable for larger hospitals, but is not an option for smaller or regional facilities. The concern that security staff are unable to cover all areas within hospital grounds simultaneously has prompted smaller regional hospitals to turn to a technology solution to protect their largely female staff.
Several regional hospitals in the state of New South Wales (NSW), Australia have implemented an Xtralis ADPRO multi-site video monitoring system to protect their car parks. By installing a series of CCTV cameras in each car park and connecting those cameras to an Xtralis ADPRO FastTrace video management unit, the system provides a number of advantages over security guards.
The Xtralis ADPRO system enables security staff to perform virtual guard tours of the hospital grounds from the hospital's security station. Unlike patrolling security guards, the CCTV cameras can be everywhere at once, scanning all areas in a timely and controlled manner. These cameras relay video to the Xtralis ADPRO FastTrace video management system, which is in turn connected to the centralised control station via the hospital's computer network.
|Xtralis ADPRO security system displays images from the alarm site|
Hospital staff walking in the car parks can raise alarms via wireless panic buttons as well as hard wired panic buttons, located in view of a camera. The alarms trigger the capture and transmission of images from the closest camera back to the security station. An operator at the station can then quickly assess what caused the alarm and respond appropriately. For example, if the images show someone being assaulted then an audio announcement to the area can be made and security guards dispatched immediately to the scene. If the images show someone attempting to break into a car an audio announcement such as: "You near the Toyota Camry. You are being observed. Leave immediately or the Police will be called," may be all that is needed.
Since installation of the Xtralis ADPRO video security system, problem spots in these regional hospitals have been virtually eliminated. Regular physical patrols are no longer required, enabling more cost-effective use of security resources and funds. Night staff now simply contact the security station before leaving the building and the security station
|Security staff can switch to any CCTV camera on site|
monitors the employee on camera until they reach their vehicle safely. This solution has assisted hospitals in providing a safer work environment and reduced their public liability risk.
One regional hospital system that has implemented an Xtralis ADPRO security system is the Greater Western Health Service. It encompasses 20 hospitals, each connected via a ADSL network, with another 40 hospitals to be added within the next 2 years. Responsible for installation of video monitoring systems at these hospitals, Scott Simmonds from Simtec Surveillance and Security offers the following comment: "The impact of the system has resulted in no serious incidents since its inception within the hospital grounds, and has had a positive effect on staff morale and overall employee confidence."