The Security of Medicine

The Security of Medicine

Illinois medical center relies on new server solution to secure all facilities

For more than a century, SwedishAmerican Health System, its hospital and medical facilities, have been serving the community of Rockford, IL. As a division of the University of Wisconsin Health, the medical staff has been delivering high-quality healthcare and strategies to keep patients and families healthy.

Behind the Scenes

What families and patients don’t see is the world-class security systems that have been put in place at all Swedish American medical facilities and outlying satellite healthcare clinics.

“In an ongoing effort to provide security at the highest level, SwedishAmerican is upgrading all their servers to include Windows 10,” said Randy Lapp, a regional business development manager at Salient Systems. “The security team has nearly completed the replacement of old DVRs with new enterprise network servers. This offers a much more reliable security solution tying all the medical facilities together. Each clinic will have a single server, while there will be multiple servers in the hospital. Server types and camera counts will depend upon the needs of each wing of the facility.”

In keeping with SwedishAmerican’s mission to deliver excellence in healthcare, they also maintain the highest level of care when it comes to keeping their patients, medical staff, and facilities safe. One such effort is the migration from Windows 7 platform to Windows 10 and maintaining compliance in their OS. Utilizing Salient’s CompleteView VMS with Dynamic Resolution Scaling, the security team has more than adequate bandwidth to record and store video for 90 days at each facility.

What to Record

Because the medical center offers a daycare facility, recording is ongoing, and is stored for 90 days; however, some recordings are held for as long as six months. In locations where there are privacy issues, such as patient treatment areas, no video recordings are made. Still, in spaces such as parking lots and common areas, video recording is essential.

The servers replace an obsolete system and have been engineered by Salient System network engineers to accept upgrades in security solutions as technology, and various solutions evolve. Even more important is the fact that the servers are tailormade to fit the specific needs of the various hospital departments and separate clinics.

The servers, just like the hospital, have evolved over the years. The PowerProtect platforms extend the limits of operational capabilities for video surveillance systems engineered for continuous access and durability.

“The reason for the custom build is to fulfill several missions of the hospital system,” Lapp said. “There are various requirements for storage and differing requirements for recording frames per second. The customized nature of these security solutions fulfills the unique needs of the customer.”

SwedishAmerican Hospital has video recording requirements that weren’t necessary a few years ago. Terry W. Gagliano, security manager at the hospital system, said the investment in this server solution would not only help with the upgrade to Windows 10, but it will allow greater recording capacity.

“This is an inner-city hospital system, where there are different and sometimes difficult challenges,” Gagliano said. “The clinics also are within the inner city, and we wanted to ensure that we had enough bandwidth to not only record, but to store the images that we are getting. We wanted to be able to effectively record and store video for 90 days.”

Recording and storage specifications vary at the hospital. For instance, at the child daycare center at the hospital, recording is active only during hours of operation, and storage of those images last from three to six months. Parking lots also are under constant surveillance, and storage on the servers is ongoing.

“We’re thrilled to have these server platforms in place and working,” Gagliano said. “What we had been using is obsolete. The PowerProtect solutions are engineered to accept upgrades as they are needed and as they become available. We expect these servers to last beyond five years before we have to consider replacement.”

The servers or hybrid NVRs are a valueoriented digital video surveillance system, offering continuous operation with advanced components. They are rack-mounted, and as any end-user would expect, delivers reliability and a processing power required by mission-critical video surveillance. Because the storage of video images is important, SwedishAmerican sought a single Intel Xeon processor with 16 GB of memory, which also offered the hospital system up to 48 TB of video storage.

“We were looking for new servers at our existing buildings, so that meant we were in the market for 40 to 45 servers,” Gagliano said. “Our clinics have varied and different missions, so demand for security services are different. When we sought customized solutions, we found exactly what we needed.”

PowerPlus is a two-unit NVR rack mount used for the installation because SwedishAmerican sought a balance between processing power, storage capacity, and redundancy for high performance in a flexible platform for its existing video surveillance applications. A hospital setting is a 24/7/365 environment, requiring a system that can withstand the rigors of continuous operation. That’s where the enhanced performance of CompleteView 20/20 comes in.

“When we started the process of replacing our servers and NVRs, we considered performance first and foremost,” Gagliano said. “It was mission-critical to have flexibility, and it was important to honor the standard of excellence already offered by SwedishAmerican Hospital.”

In recent years, SwedishAmerican has been honored in the medical professional for its commitment to quality, and it has become a gold standard for medical care of any other healthcare system in northern Illinois. The hospital has received a Top 100 Hospital Quality Award, 150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare, and a Distinguished Hospital Award by J.D. Power and Associates, among many other accolades.

While there may not be an award or designation for security in the workplace, SwedishAmerican has done its best to ensure that patients are afforded the highest level of safety and security.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of Security Today.

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