Since 1967, Southside Medical Center has been providing affordable healthcare and related services to the insured, underinsured, and uninsured in downtown Atlanta. As one of the oldest and largest community health centres in Georgia, Southside Medical Center has continued to advance healthcare in the area by becoming the first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) of Excellence to offer additional services beyond primary care. “We are in a new era and are moving forward with plans to have the nation’s first Federally Qualified Health Center of Excellence,” explained David M. Williams, MD, CEO at Southside Medical Center. “Having state- of-the-art technology will help get us there in an efficient and reliable manner.”

In its quest to provide advanced patient care, Southside Medical Center has made security a top priority, deploying the Avigilon High Definition (HD) Surveillance System to ensure the safety of more than 30,000 patients, 30 physicians, and 240 employees.

High-performance surveillance systemWe can now rely on the clarity and performance of the Avigilon HD Surveillance System to capture the necessary detail"

Southside Medical Center faces many serious security challenges, including physical disputes among patients and theft. “We also have armed individuals who are not necessarily gang members entering our facility on a regular basis, providing another layer of risk and concern,” explains Barlon Lundgren, JD, CHPA, and director of corporate affairs at Southside Medical Center. “With a relatively small security team, we rely on the performance and image clarity of the Avigilon HD System for around-the-clock surveillance and investigations as incidents occur.”

With limited security personnel on site, Southside Medical Center needed a high-performance surveillance system to monitor the 46,230 square feet facility and three adjoining parking lots. The previous analogue-based system simply could not meet the medical centre’s needs. “The analogue system was grainy, monochrome, and couldn’t zoom to capture specific details when needed,” notes Lundgren. “With a high rate of break-ins, we can now rely on the clarity and performance of the Avigilon HD Surveillance System to capture the detail we need to identify, confirm, and ultimately, convict.”

Three of the Avigilon cameras were installed specifically to capture license plates"

Analogue to IP surveillance migration

Working with the security experts at Southeastern Security Professionals LLC, a provider of design, installation, and service of life safety and security systems in the Southeast Region, Southside Medical Center installed one Avigilon 16-megapixel camera in addition to several Avigilon 11 and 5-megapixel cameras on the exterior of the facility for perimeter monitoring. “Three of the Avigilon cameras were installed specifically to capture license plates,” explains Lundgren. To further boost the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, Southside Medical Center kept its existing 28 analogue cameras, which have been installed throughout the interior of the facility.

Nine Avigilon analogue video encoders were used to integrate the existing analogue cameras into the new Avigilon HD Surveillance System, creating a high-performance hybrid system that facilitates the migration from analogue to digital as budget allows. Southside Medical Center also installed three Avigilon HD network video recorders (NVRs) to store up to 14 days of continuous surveillance footage and plans to add a stand-alone storage system to boost storage capacity to 30 days for greater scalability.

Efficient face and license plate capture With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, we can find what we are looking for twice as fast"

According to Lundgren, the primary goal of the Avigilon HD Surveillance System is to capture the detail required for evidence collection. “The bulk of our time is spent reviewing footage for investigative purposes,” says Lundgren. “With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, we can find what we are looking for twice as fast as we could with our previous analogue-based system.” This feature was put to the test on the first day that the Avigilon HD Surveillance System was installed.

Four teenagers entered the premises in a stolen vehicle and stole a second car from the parking lot. “Leveraging the zooming capabilities of the Avigilon 11- and 5-megapixel cameras, we were able to capture facial details and license plate numbers that we immediately shared with the police.” Law enforcement officials have since retrieved the stolen vehicle and the perpetrators have been charged with theft.

Simplifying remote surveillance

Using Avigilon Control Center Network Video Management Software, the security team at Southside Medical Center can easily move back and forth between live and recorded footage for evidence collection. But according to Lundgren, ease-of-use was another key selling feature of the Avigilon HD Surveillance System. “Using Avigilon Control Center software, we can easily transfer footage onto DVDs, making it very easy to share evidence with law enforcement,” comments Lundgren. “And Avigilon Control Center allows us to download images along with the player, making it easy for local law enforcement officials to view footage, a key differentiator and top reason why we chose the Avigilon system.”

We can also add or import views, such as satellite images of the facility, for even greater coverage"Multiple screens enable users to seamlessly monitor several views at once, providing complete coverage for the entire facility. “We can also add or import views, such as satellite images of the facility, for even greater coverage,” notes Lundgren. Avigilon’s simple management tools have also made it easy for Lundgren to monitor and reduce the bandwidth required for remote surveillance.

Central monitoring

Scalability was another key requirement for Southside Medical Center, which plans to build a 60,000 square foot facility across from the main building to accommodate the new services it will soon offer as Georgia’s first FQHC of Excellence. “Within the next two years, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System will triple in size, so we needed to deploy a surveillance system that could easily expand to meet our future needs,” says Lundgren. “We also plan to gradually integrate our satellite clinics into the Avigilon HD Surveillance System so we can monitor activities at all our facilities from a central location.”

Just one Avigilon megapixel camera can deliver the same coverage of at least four analogue cameras"Seamless integration

According to Lundgren, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System was much simpler to install and integrate into the facility’s existing infrastructure than other surveillance solutions would have been. “By selecting the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we required less additional equipment and we achieved far greater performance at the same cost,” notes Lundgren. “And because just one Avigilon megapixel camera can deliver the same coverage of at least four analogue cameras, we saved more time and money during installation.”

By deploying the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, Southside Medical Center was able to achieve even further cost savings by not having to invest in the additional equipment required for pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) functionality. “If we had deployed an analogue-based system, we would have had to invest in additional PTZ housings and motors to achieve greater coverage. With Avigilon, we get even better coverage with less hardware.”

Cost-effective surveillance solution

By monitoring the Avigilon HD Surveillance System live, Lundgren and his team can act on a tip, monitor a situation, and call in the police to stop a potential break-in or criminal act before it happens. “Not only does this help us avert a potential crisis, it also reduces the time and cost associated with police investigations,” says Lundgren.

The Avigilon HD Surveillance System is an excellent choice for any healthcare provider wanting to enhance patient and staff safety"Southside Medical Center has also saved HR-related costs by leveraging the Avigilon HD Surveillance System to monitor employee performance. “We can now confidently resolve ‘he said/she said’ conflicts between patients and staff,” explains Lundgren. Southside Medical Center also uses the surveillance footage to resolve complaints, performance improvement issues, internal theft, and confrontations between patients and on site. “We have planned and designed the system so that we can add audio monitoring in certain areas to further improve customer service if we choose,” adds Lundgren.

Enhanced healthcare security

As the chair of the Georgia chapter of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS), Barlon Lundgren plays an influential and far-reaching role in the state’s security industry. “I have hosted several healthcare providers to see the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in action and have also invited Avigilon to showcase the solution at a local IAHSS event,” concludes Lundgren. “With its exceptional image clarity, reliability, and scalability, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System is an excellent choice for any healthcare provider wanting to enhance patient and staff safety.”

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