The healthcare market is rife with opportunity for security systems integrators. Hospitals have a continuous need for security, to update their systems, to make repairs, says David Alessandrini, Vice President, Pasek Corp., a systems integrator. “It’s cyclical. Funding for large projects might span one to two years, and then they go into a maintenance mode. Departments are changing constantly, and they need us to maintain the equipment to make sure it’s operating to its full potential.” The experience of Pasek Corp. is typical of the opportunities available for security integrator companies in the healthcare vertical. A single large hospital system can supply a dependable ongoing source of revenue to integrator companies, says Alessandrini. Hospitals are “usually large enough to provide enough work for several people for an extended length of time.” Healthcare customers in Pasek’s service area around Boston provide the potential for plenty of work. “We have four major hospitals, each with in excess of 250 card readers and 200 cameras, in the Boston area,” Alessandrini says. One appeal of the healthcare market for North Carolina Sound, an integrator covering central North Carolina, is the breadth of possible equipment they can sell into the healthcare market, including access control and video, of course, but also other technologies, such as audio-video systems in a dining room. North Carolina Sound has also installed sound masking in some areas with waiting rooms to protect private patient information from being overheard. Locking systems on pharmaceutical doors are another opportunity. Data capture form to appear here! IP based networked video systems A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network Among North Carolina Sound’s customers is Wayne Memorial Hospital, Goldsboro, N.C., which uses about 340 video cameras, with 80 percent or more of them converted to IP. The hospital is replacing analogue with IP cameras as budget allows, building network infrastructure to support the system. The healthcare market tends to have a long sales cycle; in general, sales don’t happen overnight or even within a month or two. In fact, the period between an initial meeting with a healthcare facility and installation of a system could stretch to a year or longer. A lot happens during that time. Healthcare systems involve extensive planning, engineering, and meetings among various departments. Physical security systems that involve the information technology (IT) department, as do most systems today, can be especially complex. Installation of networked video systems based on Internet protocol (IP) requires deep and probing discussions with the IT team about how a system fits into the facility’s network infrastructure. A facility’s IT folks must be convinced an IP solution will function seamlessly on their network. Compatible with the network They must vet the technology to ensure the devices and solutions will be compatible with the network, and must sign off on technology choices. And even more important is determining if the security system will adhere to cyber security requirements of the facility. A complete solution that integrates nearly any system that lives on or uses a facility’s network is ultimately what the healthcare vertical is moving toward, says Jason Ouellette, General Manager – Enterprise Access Control & Video, Johnson Controls. Healthcare security professionals are early adopters of technology, implementing the best technology available” “We are hearing more and more from customers across industries that they want to be able to use their security systems and devices for more than just security: they want added value,” says Ouellette. Many want to use access control, video surveillance and other data sources to assess their business operations and/or workflows with the goal of improving efficiency. Upgrade cost-effectively Historically, three factors have prevented many organisations from moving forward with new technologies: lack of money, proprietary systems, and the need to “rip and replace” large parts of the installed systems, says Robert Laughlin, CEO and Chairman, Galaxy Control Systems. "Today, while funding is almost always a limiting factor at some level, the progression of industry standards and ‘open’ systems has made a big positive impact on the ability of organisations to upgrade cost-effectively,” he says. Despite any obstacles, healthcare customers generally welcome new innovations. “I would say healthcare security professionals in general are early adopters of technology and like to implement the best technology available,” says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Johnson Controls/Tyco Security Products. “For most, rapid implementation is limited by budgets and available funding." Read parts one and three of our heathcare mini series here and here.
When violence or a life-threatening incident occurs, hospitals and other healthcare institutions are often in the crosshairs. Hospitals increasingly face a reality of workplace violence, attacks on patients, and threats to doctors and other support staff. And even if violence happens outside a hospital – such as an active shooter at a public place – the local hospital must be prepared to respond to an influx of injured victims. When conflicts arise inside a hospital, there is an urgent need to lock the facility down quickly. Security professionals and their teams need access control options that allow lockdowns to occur at the touch of a button. Lockdown capabilities are an important aspect of safety and security for hospitals, doctor’s offices and medical facilities The need for mass notification is also growing in the healthcare environment Fire alarm public address system The need for mass notification – another aspect of responding in an emergency – is also growing in the healthcare environment. Various systems can communicate through the fire alarm public address (PA) system to notify people in an emergency, or, alternately, to use email notification, text messaging, pagers, smart phones and/or personal computers (PCs). In lockdown situations, access control systems provide an emergency button with various triggers in the system – a hospital can lockdown specific units or the entire facility. Data capture form to appear here! Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Johnson Controls/Tyco Security Products, points out that the safety of hospital staff, particularly nurses, cannot be overlooked. In the emergency room, 55 percent of nurses are assaulted in some way each year, which is a high percentage. The safety of nurses and all hospital staff deserves more attention. Duress/emergency notification technology Stankevich says one solution is to use duress/emergency notification technology: staff can carry and wear a ‘panic button” or have a two-key combination on their computer as an alarm trigger. When the staff member hits the panic button, a direct message can be sent to security, alerting security staff about the event and requiring a response. There has been an increase in demand for the safety and security of patients, staff and visitors at healthcare institutions, as evidenced by the recent CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Emergency Preparedness Rule. As of Nov. 17, 2017, healthcare institutions that participate in Medicare or Medicaid must demonstrate compliance with the rule. Emergency preparedness systems A major challenge in compliance to this rule is balancing patient safety with comfort At its core, the rule seeks to establish national emergency preparedness requirements to ensure adequate planning for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordination with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems. A major challenge in compliance to this rule is balancing patient safety with comfort. Institutions should consider two-way communication that enables leadership to disseminate targeted messages quickly and efficiently, while arming all employees with a tool that can alert the appropriate staff should an incident occur. Solutions like this enable swift communication of issues without disturbing patients and visitors unless necessary. Effective response to emergencies “Fortunately, hospitals and their security departments are generally well equipped to respond to most emergency situations”, said John M. White, president/CEO of Protection Management, a consultant who works with hospitals to address their security needs. During the Ebola scare in 2014, however, hospitals had to re-examine their plans to ensure they were prepared to meet the challenges specific to rare and deadly disease. “Hospitals are prepared for most things, but Ebola seemed to have caught the whole world off guard, so people responded in different ways,” says White, who previously was security director of two multi-campus medical facilities before becoming a consultant. Hospital security Hospitals made adjustments to their emergency programs to determine how best to handle Ebola patients" He adds, “Hospitals made adjustments to their emergency programs to determine how best to handle Ebola patients and to protect other patients and staff. It was a new threat that healthcare organisations had not specifically addressed.” A particular concern was the possibility of an infected person walking into an emergency room and infecting other people and/or requiring facility decontamination. One role the hospital security department plays in such an emergency is to control access to the facility and to control visitors’ movements once they are inside the facility, says White. If the Ebola scare had progressed to the point that a hospital would need to screen patients, security would be positioned at the front entrance to help with that screening and, if necessary, to direct patients to a specific area for quarantine. Protective equipment Security might also need to wear protective equipment to handle a patient who is resistant to treatment, for example. There are often interactions between security personnel and the general public, a scenario that becomes more complicated if Ebola or a similar infection is likely. In general, security would be tasked with maintaining order and keeping people where they need to be, freeing up the medical professionals to do their jobs more efficiently, says White. To prepare for the impact of the Ebola scare, hospitals addressed various training and equipment needs and adjusted their disaster/emergency response plans. Read parts two and three of our heathcare mini series here and here.
Part 11 of our Security in Healthcare series The Joint Commission’s mission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders Compliance with Joint Commission accreditation can impact hospital and healthcare safety and security decisions, and can even drive security system improvements at healthcare facilities. An independent, not-for-profit organisation, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organisations and programmes in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognised nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organisation’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. The Joint Commission’s mission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organisations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. Security systems evaluation But how are security and safety systems a factor in accreditation and certification by The Joint Commission? The Joint Commission does not require an organisation to have a specific type of security system, says John D. Maurer, Engineer, Department of Engineering, Certified Yellow Belt, The Joint Commission. Rather, an organisation is permitted to determine the types of security systems it uses based on the risks it identifies specific to its operations. Once an organisation identifies security risks that may impact operations, the processes put in place to address those risks are evaluated during a Joint Commission survey, including evaluation of the use and functionality of the types of security systems in place. An organisation is permitted to determine the types of security systems it uses based on therisks it identifies specific to itsoperations Based on the processes that are put in place, this evaluation will take into account the actions taken during a security incident in addition to the proper use and maintenance of the equipment specific to the setting and circumstances in which the security measures are implemented, says Maurer. “Organisations should properly evaluate any equipment to determine how well it will serve its needs,” he says. It is recommended that the selection be conducted through a multidisciplinary team, including input from key stakeholders. Included with the selection process, organisations should review the operational needs of the security systems and related equipment so staff can use it properly and effectively. Additionally, the maintenance requirements should be reviewed in order to keep it functioning as it is intended. Of course, both the aforementioned points would involve training, and this could also be reviewed during a survey event to help determine the overall effectiveness of the system in place, according to Maurer. Advantages of ‘Security by Committee’ After participating in a wide range of healthcare security deployments, security equipment manufacturers find that many of the most successful are led by healthcare executives that make use of a broad “security by committee” planning process. “Advisory committees that include representatives of all staff levels, and sometimes interested community volunteers, bring a unique blend of opinions to guide the planning and decision processes,” says Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. “Over the years of working in this field, we have often heard legitimate staff complaints about systems that were installed without knowing how they would affect the staff,” he adds. “Because staff adoption is key to a successful installation, hearing a range of suggestions helps make these deployments successful." The most critical areas are those in which the wealth of expensive medical equipment and pharmaceutical materials are stored Laughlin says a key challenge of healthcare security is to provide the right balance between, on the one hand, an open, friendly and welcoming facility that supports families and individuals during some of the most difficult situations of their lives; and, on the other hand, protecting the privacy and security of vulnerable people, expensive equipment, and valuable drugs and materials. Round-the-clock operation, a large and complex workforce, and a constant flow of unfamiliar visitors only compound the security challenge. Higher level of access control in areas of critical risk Healthcare campuses are vulnerable to a variety of security risks, but the most critical areas are those in which the wealth of expensive medical equipment and pharmaceutical materials are stored, says Scott Sieracki, CEO, Viscount Systems. These areas need to be heavily protected from theft and contamination 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, which can be exhaustive, expensive and hard to manage if any of these items are in transit. "We are also experiencing higher demand for more and moreintegrations between securitysystems and facilities management systems" Moreover, only employees with the highest security clearance and proper credentials are allowed access to these materials, and clearances can be changed at a moment’s notice within the facility’s main database. However, without real-time communication among card readers, access cards and Active Directory, these minute-to-minute decisions can open up opportunities for potential identity fraud and physical and/or logical security breaches, thus putting vulnerable patients, sensitive data and priceless equipment at risk. Some specific areas of a hospital are especially vulnerable. “We are seeing higher levels of access control deployed in areas such as maternity and psychiatric wards, ICUs, operating rooms and onsite pharmacies that dispense controlled substances,” says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Tyco Security Products. “We are also experiencing higher demand for more and more integrations between security systems and facilities management systems.” The combinations of the abilities of these devices mean, for example, that bracelets can be used to track physical locations of patients who may be mentally incapacitated or perhaps have Alzheimer’s disease, to make sure they are not in harm’s way. “We even have technology that can alert a nurse when a patient falls out of his or her bed, using the same principles used in infant abduction/infant tracking devices,” says Stankevich. “This technology is even used to track expensive medical equipment in real time in order to reduce theft, and also to track equipment that is in use or is possibly misplaced.” Catch up on our Security in Healthcare series here Save
Part 10 of our Security in Healthcare series Ensuring the safety of patients, staff and visitors is no easy task Security integration is more than a buzzword in the hospital and healthcare vertical. Increasingly, it’s a necessity. When creating a safe and secure healthcare environment, end users should look for solutions that not only drive new levels of security and business intelligence but can provide long-term value in the future. Specifically, Kevin Wine, Vice President of Marketing, Verint, says healthcare users are looking for systems that are: Open and scalable, and can easily integrate with other systems and sensors; Intuitive to use and manage to help keep the focus on better situation management; Comprehensive and automated to help operators align with standard operating procedures and reporting structures; Intelligence-driven to correlate data with other sources of security and operational data for more accurate and comprehensive risk profile. Enhancing security efforts by the right means Ensuring the safety of patients, staff and visitors is no easy task, and while it is challenging for security officials to predict, prepare for or prevent every incident from occurring on the premises, robust strategies and programmes help these facilities achieve a higher level of situational awareness, says Wine. By improving security efforts with the right technology, protocols and procedures, hospitals are better equipped to ensure safety and security while driving new levels of business intelligence to ensure long-term viability in today’s market. By improving security effortswith the right technology,protocols and procedures,hospitals are better equippedto ensure security Healthcare facilities today seek holistic solutions that address a wide variety of security and business needs, says Wine. Video surveillance is a force multiplier, helping mitigate risks. Video and other security sensors and communication systems (i.e., access control, video analytics, dispatch, nurse call, alarms, RFID, et.al.) also help enable users to realise new levels of prevention – earlier detection is vital to prevent incidents. Situational awareness solutions But all of these valuable data points cannot be fully realised without correlating information from various solutions together, says Wine. Situational awareness solutions help hospitals gain a full picture of a security situation, improve communication among stakeholders, and streamline reporting to allow officials to effectively manage a situation on a more proactive basis. All of these needs are driving healthcare organisations to seek out solutions and programmes that can provide value beyond feature sets, and can help drive new levels of security and business intelligence. Wine contends that, by integrating data from various sources into a single command-and-control platform, true situational awareness can be achieved. This comprehensive approach helps enable faster and more effective response to support a high level of safety to employees, patients, visitors and the overall community. “Situational awareness solutions automatically combine critical data points from multiple systems and sensors, allowing operators to understand what is happening in real-time through one intuitive interface,” says Wine. “We like to think of this approach as a single pane of glass – helping enable officials to quickly and effectively identify risks, manage situations and thoroughly investigate. Bringing all data points into one platform helps allow for early detection of threats, which can also be used to initiate better planning, timely response and better decision-making.“ The healthcare vertical is moving toward a complete solution that integrates nearly any system using a facility’s network Integration: access control and beyond Access control is an important aspect of integration in healthcare settings. Hospitals must support affiliated doctors who need to carry multiple badges for all the locations they visit, for example. Over time, administrators may want to integrate access control with visitor management, or add video surveillance and other technologies. This can be difficult to accomplish with legacy systems, which are vulnerable to security threats and can’t easily be upgraded to new features and capabilities. In contrast, the latest physical access control system (PACS) system architectures are based on dynamic technologies, making it significantly easier and less expensive to upgrade them. “Today’s solutions enable healthcare organisations to achieve a versatile PACS that protects everything from hospital doors and storage areas to the cloud and desktops,” says Sheila Loy, Director Healthcare Strategies, North America, HID Global. “With proper planning, healthcare institutions will be able to preserve investments in today’s physical access control credential solution as they seamlessly add new capabilities in the future,” she says. The result is a fully interoperable, multi-layered and highly adaptable security solution that spans the organisation’s networks, systems and facilities, and has room to grow, evolve and improve over time. Healthcare institutions will be able to preserve investments in today’s physical access control credential solution as they add new capabilities in the future The latest PACS architectures support new applications such as infant protection systems, and biometrics in sensitive areas such as laboratories and research centres. There are also opportunities to “do more with the card,” says Loy. Hospitals can offer physicians, nurses and staff one card for accessing the emergency room and pharmacy, and for visual ID verification, time-and-attendance logging, payroll transactions, and cafeteria purchases. This simplifies life for cardholders while centralising and streamlining management. To protect information, access control systems now also deliver the ability to “tap” in and out of computer applications, eliminating complex passwords and password fatigue where it can require 20 or more logins each day in order to access the hospital’s enterprise data and services. Instead, the user simply taps his or her ID card to a laptop, tablet, phone or other NFC-enabled devices to access network resources, cloud apps and web-based services. It’s easier and more secure than passwords, and faster and more seamless and convenient than dedicated hardware one-time passwords and display cards or other physical devices. Plus, there is the added benefit of using the same card that opens doors to also access data and cloud-based applications. Integration with other systems A complete solution that integrates nearly any system that lives on or uses a facility’s network is ultimately what the healthcare vertical is moving toward, says Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director – Access Control, Tyco Security Products. “At Tyco Security Products, we are offering this kind of holistic approach by integrating our C-CURE 9000 access control platform with video, intrusion, duress notification and infant abduction technologies together and adding license plate recognition, biometric identity management, NFC and BLE, visitor management and home automation interfaces and capabilities,” he says. “All of these systems coming through a single pane-of-glass view give operators more to see and react to. “We are hearing more and more from customers across industries that they want to be able to use their security systems and devices for more than just security: they want added value,” says Ouellette. Many want to use access control, video surveillance and other data sources to assess their business operations and/or workflows with the goal of improving efficiency. “I think we’ll also see more edge controllers and further development of mobile technology capabilities,” he adds. We are going to see wider adoption of electronic access control onto almost every door in healthcare facilities Complete security integration Infant abduction systems like Elpas and Hugs can now be connected to access control systems, says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Tyco Security Products. This is significant, and the integration among these systems will no doubt grow, as this makes infant abduction very difficult. A real world example is if an infant is taken without authorisation onto an elevator. If this occurs, an alarm can be sounded, and a hospital-wide alert can be dispatched over radios and over the facility’s public address (PA) system in seconds. “This growing level of automation is one of the things I expect will continue to develop in the future,” says Stankevich. “These systems integrated into the Lynx duress/notification system allow for a wide range of notification options.” "These end users need a way to grant permissions in a way that saves time and energy on manual input, and makes changing permissions easy and efficient" Also, facilities require increased integration with today’s video surveillance and video management systems from their access control solutions, and there’s an additional push toward integrating human resources and other event management and directory software tools as well, adds Stankevich. “These end users need a way to grant permissions in a way that not only saves time and energy on manual input, but also makes changing permissions easy and efficient,” he says. “This is especially paramount for large-scale enterprise organisations, such as a hospital campus, that can span multiple geographic locations.” Access control can be integrated with other systems, too. “The continuing evolution of network technologies and our interconnected world has transformed access control systems from standalone solutions into a vital part of a more robust, highly integrated system that allows users to utilise a single control platform to monitor the status of a facility,” says Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. “We expect that advanced access control solutions will be integrated with patient information, identity management, video surveillance, medicine storage and distribution, parking and other systems, all of which provide information and intelligence in the form of data that contributes to the emerging model of predictive analytics. The actionable intelligence that will result from this analysis will help move security from a reactive to a more proactive function.” Wider adoption of electronic access control Tighter integration between physical access control systems with specific hospital-based systems such as mother and baby alarms, asset location technologies and robotic vehicle systems are likely advances that we will see adopted more often, agrees Dave Ella, Vice President of Product Marketing, AMAG Technology. “We are going to see wider adoption of electronic access control onto almost every door in healthcare facilities through the adoption of a new generation of locks that are wire-free and Wi-Fi-based, but that form part of the overall access control system,” says Ella of AMAG. AMAG also sees that frictionless access – in which no physical contact needs to be made with a card or card reader – will assist in the control of healthcare-associated infections. Read Part 11 of our Security in Healthcare series here Save Save Save
Part 8 of our healthcare series Hospitals are challenging environments. A hospital requires oversight 24 hours a day, seven days a week Access control in particular has advanced significantly to offer healthcare facilities the ability to control access remotely, through mobile applications, confirm identity quickly and easily and program varying levels of access for visitors, patients, doctors and staff. Hospitals are challenging environments. A hospital requires oversight 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In particular, integrated systems can allow officials to program various doors and locks to activate at various times and apply rules based on time of day, shift changes, etc. Sensitive materials, such as pharmaceuticals or surgical equipment, demand an entirely different set of access control standards, which means any solution implemented must be easy to use and scalable to fit growing needs. A Security Management System (SMS) can be used to integrate a facility’s access control technologies, digital video and alarm monitoring systems into a single, streamlined solution, says Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. “One advantage to this type of solution is scalability and flexibility, and its ability to serve multiple sites, which is common in this vertical market,” he says. Meeting each hospital’s unique challenges Every hospital setting has unique challenges. Consider Highlands-Clarksburg Hospital, a 150-bed behavioural psychiatric centre in Clarksburg, West Virginia. It houses patients in a wide range of circumstances, including forensic patients (deemed unfit to stand trial and/or non-restorable), dual-diagnosis substance abuse patients, children and adolescents, and intellectually challenged individuals. Both a card swipe and PIN are required to pass through any controlled doors, to call an elevator, or to cause the elevator to move between floors Because of the nature of the facility, it was determined that a two-step control process was needed to help ensure security and employee safety. Extra security measures were also needed to manage elevator usage, to ensure that high-risk patients are always escorted. To meet the requirement for a two-step security procedure on interior doors, a Galaxy access control system added an additional layer of protection requiring users to input a five-digit PIN code. The same approach was also applied to the elevators controls, taking advantage of the integration between the access control and patient tracking systems. Thus, both a card swipe and PIN are required to pass through any controlled doors, to call an elevator, or to cause the elevator to move between floors. Escorting a patient requires a card swipe, PIN, and the patient tracking reader, or an alarm sounds.In all, the integrator installed 208 readers, 24 power supplies and 20 Galaxy controllers to implement the facility access security system. Sensitive materials, such as pharmaceuticals or surgical equipment, demand an entirely different set of access control standards Securing access to narcotics One area that is recently experiencing rapid growth – and drastic change –is the securing of narcotics within healthcare facilities, says Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. In the past, all medicine was controlled in a central pharmacy located somewhere in the hospital or health facility. These pharmacies were highly secured areas, with strict access limitations; only authorised staff could get near the medicine stocks. To improve the speed of delivery, and to have the necessary medicines ready at hand for in-patients without retaining a large delivery staff, the current trend is to have distributed pharmaceutical closets or carts that hold medicines much closer to the intended patients. “One consequence of this approach is an increased security challenge to protect these distributed locations and the people that have access to them,” he says. “One solution is to combine the use of new wireless cabinet locks for the storage cabinets and carts with RFID panic devices for the staff. Both of these devices can be integrated into the facility access control systems so that the healthcare facility can monitor the operation and respond quickly to any incidents. “ Managing visitors in multiple scenarios A hospital chain in Orlando, Florida, uses STOPware’s PassagePoint visitor management system at 13 of their hospitals. While all of the hospitals use PassagePoint at the main reception desk to process visitors, each facilities uses PassagePoint a little differently. The large city hospitals use PassagePoint 24 hours a day at their reception desks to process visitors and control the number of visitors in patient rooms. The smaller hospitals use PassagePoint after hours to keep track of visitors in the hospital after regular visiting hours and also deploy Patrol Officers to check the patient units to confirm that visitors are still with the patients. A new system enhancement is placing self-service kiosks in the Emergency Department waiting areas. Loved ones are given instructions to self-register at the kiosk A current new system enhancement project for this hospital chain is placing self-service kiosks in the Emergency Department waiting areas. Loved ones who are authorised to visit Emergency Department patients are given instructions to self-register at the kiosk. A key component of the self-registration is the Emergency Department stretcher where the patient is being treated. Only one key family member is allowed to self-register to visitor and/or stay with the patient. The hospital chain is looking forward to adding Health Level-7 (HL-7) patient integration in order to maintain highly accurate patient room locations. Integrated access and identity management Another hospital used HID Global’s iCLASS SE platform, powered by Seos, to implement a major upgrade to a single, integrated access control and identity management system. The hospital is using the system to rebadge thousands of staff, contractors and volunteers, replacing magnetic stripe cards with more secure and versatile ID badges that can support numerous future access control applications. The upgrade was launched during a major corporate re-branding and expansion initiative, and was implemented in stages over a several-year period. To support this multi-phase project, HID Global provided the institutions with multiCLASS SE readers that simultaneously support magnetic stripe, Indala proximity and higher-security 13.56 MHz smart card technology. In the emergency room, 55 percent of nurses are assaulted in some way each year Another HID Global example highlights a non-physical security example. The hospital selected an integrated, government-certified solution from HID Global that empowers them to attach a digital certificate of identity authentication to a FIPS 140.2 certified credential, using IdenTrust as the Certificate Authority for each authorised prescriber. FIPS 140.2 is a U.S. government computer security standard used to accredit cryptographic modules. The HID Global credentials also include one-time password (OTP) functionality that allows EPCS (Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances) authentication using an OTP, without the need of a desktop reader. With HID integration to Epic EHR (Electronic Health Records software), either the digital certificate or the OTP (with PIN) can be accepted within the EPCS module for two-factor authentication. This provides the convenience for the prescribing physician to choose the authentication mode that best fits his or her workflow in a given scenario. The integrated solution includes: ActivID Credential Management System (CMS), ActivID Authentication Server OMNIKEY reader/encoders and FIPS 140.2 contact credentials with an OTP generator and display window FARGO printers and Asure ID software to print customised credentials HID Professional Services for project management, installation, workflow analysis, training and support. Focus beyond patients to include staff too Healthcare security is often centred on the patient and keeping him or her safe, which is absolutely crucial. However, Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Tyco Security Products, points out that the safety of hospital staff, particularly nurses, can be overlooked. In the emergency room, 55 percent of nurses are assaulted in some way each year, which is a high percentage. The safety of nurses and all hospital staff deserves more attention. Stankevich says one possible solution would be to use duress/emergency notification technology: staff could carry and wear a “panic button” or have a two-key combination on their computer as an alarm trigger. When the staff member hits the panic button, a direct message can be sent to security, alerting security staff about the event and requiring a response. “With Tyco Security Products’ Elpas infant abduction technology and the Lynx duress and notification system, we can pinpoint the alarm down to a six-foot radius, to a specific bed, nurse or location in the facility,” says Stankevich. Read Part 9 of our Security in Healthcare series here
Part 5 of our Security in Healthcare series It’s difficult for hospital security directors to provide a quantified ROI in an updated security system Several forces are working in favour of greater adoption of hospital security and video surveillance technologies in the healthcare market. “Healthcare facilities and campuses are growing at a rapid rate to accommodate an aging population and the research and development of pharmacology and many different types of medical devices or technology”, says Steve Birkmeier, VP of Sales and Business Development, Arteco. “This boon to the industry also increases the risk of theft, trespassing, vandalism and even active shooter threats to these campuses, putting vulnerable patients and staff in harm’s way,” he says. “Since these characteristics are always in flux, healthcare customers are in the market for flexible solutions that can adapt and scale to the shape and size of individual campuses.” But what factors are standing in the way of greater implementation of video surveillance and security technology? The largest one is lack of funding. “These campuses are constantly under strict budgetary or compliance constraints,” says Birkmeier. “So they are also looking to expand at a low marginal cost without having to sacrifice security measures or forgo regulation.” Looking for ROI in physical security "As long as the security team isable to invest in sound access control, visitor management andvideo systems, they are in agood place" Customers investing in security often look for a return on investment (ROI). However, Dave Ella, Vice President of Product Marketing, AMAG Technology, says it’s always tricky for hospital security directors to provide a quantified ROI in an updated security system, and that reality holds back investment. However, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations provide leverage for security managers as there is a benchmark they need to meet or exceed. This can help to justify investment in physical security, Ella says. “Hospital security teams understand the benefits of new technologies,” says Ella. “Financial restrictions hold back investment in some security measures that could be implemented. As long as the security team is able to invest in sound access control, visitor management and video systems, they are in a good place.” Factors obstructing new security installation Historically, three factors have prevented many organisations from moving forward with new technologies: lack of money, proprietary systems, and the need to “rip and replace” large parts of the installed systems, says Robert Laughlin, President, Galaxy Control Systems. “Today, while funding is almost always a limiting factor at some level, the progression of industry standards and ‘open’ systems has made a big positive impact on the ability of organisations to upgrade cost-effectively,” he says. “The difference is that facilities can now be upgraded by replacing only part of a system, rather than the entire system. And, similar developments have resulted in key system functionality being executed in software rather than hardware, which also provides upgrade pathways that do not require wholesale replacement of system elements”, says Laughlin. “Together, these factors have drastically improved the cost and functionality of systems for end users.” Training and education of security practitioners is required to bring awareness of the new surveillance technologies that are available Inertia - a hindrance to adopting healthcare security “Inertia is another challenge. “Do nothing” is the biggest factor in slowing the adoption of new technologies,” says Jeff Whitney, Arecont Vision’s Vice President of Marketing. ”Adoption of technologies in healthcare is frequently driven by opportunity such as a new building or facility, changes in legislation or regulation, or external factors such as incidents, crime, or lawsuit,” he says. Megapixel camera technology, which is Arecont Vision’s focus, has the ability to reduce costs of surveillance while dramatically increasing video quality and coverage, and thus is often selected as part of the solution. “Training and education of security practitioners continues to be required to bring awareness of the new surveillance technologies that are available, what benefits they bring, and how to design and implement such systems in place of legacy analogue surveillance deployments,” says Whitney. Proactive use of video management systems Some healthcare facilities are not harnessing the potential power of their newly improved video management systems, says Ella of AMAG. “The systems need to be made more proactive. Viewing areas and recoding video is not enough. Video is capable of being part of an integrated prevention tool to respond quickly to developing incidents. “ “I would say healthcare security professionals in general are early adopters of technology and like to implement the best technology available” It’s important for the video system to be integrated directly to the access control and alarm management system, says Ella. Whenever an alarm or event occurs, the security officer must see exactly what has happened within seconds and respond accordingly. By linking – or tagging – video to access control events and alarms, and by building on that with automated triggers and workflows, AMAG customers are able to make their video systems much more responsive and proactive to security incidents. To meet the needs of healthcare facilities and other business sectors with similar issues, AMAG has integrated the Symmetry system to more than 15 different video management systems. Despite any obstacles, healthcare customers generally welcome new innovations. “I would say healthcare security professionals in general are early adopters of technology and like to implement the best technology available,” says Jim Stankevich, Global Manager – Healthcare Security, Tyco Security Products. “For most, rapid implementation is limited by budgets and available funding.” Read Part 6 of our Security in Healthcare series here