Physical Security Solution Provides Safer Environment At New York Hospital

Protecting the hospital’s staff as well as the patients and their visitors is a clear priority for Bernard Scaglione, Director of Security for the New York-Presbyterian Hospital -- Weill Cornell Campus. And to help him achieve this goal, he relies on an efficient and comprehensive physical security solution that includes key management and guard tour systems from Morse Watchmans.

“Hospitals are traditionally designed for ease of access and use, and this provides a challenge when developing and maintaining security strategies,” Scaglione said. “The systems from Morse Watchmans give us more control in providing a safer environment and better address the requirements for protecting today’s health care facilities.”

New York-Presbyterian Hospital -- Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching facility of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University.

Its security solutions must effectively protect patients, staff, visitors and facilities without interfering with hospital operations and also must be convenient and simple to assure compliance with various government regulations such as JCAHO (Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) and IAHSS (International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety).

“The hospital has been using Morse Watchmans solutions for more than 10 years because it meets these challenges and requirements,” Scaglione said. “Their systems have allowed us to increase security without negatively impacting convenience for patients, staff and visitors.”

Morse Watchmans solutions adopted by the facility include the custom-tailored KeyWatcher Key Control System, designed to record the access history of each key, including user, date and time of checkout/return.

By releasing assigned keys only to users with the proper authorization code, the KeyWatcher system helps to ensure adherence to the hospital industry standardized policies and procedures. Using minimal wall space, the rugged and tamper-proof key storage cabinet eliminates outdated lock boxes, unreliable manual logs and messy key identification tags.

More important, the network capabilities of the KeyWatcher Key Control system allow hospital management to easily program and implement changes over the LAN. In addition to the time and effort saved, these immediately effective changes can help prevent incidents by eliminating unauthorized access to keys, for example by terminated employees.

Additionally, the PowerCheck Guard Tour System with its multiple tour capabilities, integrated functions and reporting options is an integral part of the hospital’s security regime. Scaglione said stations are set up around the facility, and as the officer walks by with the Guard Tour handheld device, the system reads and records the time. The device can be programmed to prompt either sequential or random tours for the officers, so their movements can’t be predicted, and the officer can enter a standardized code at any station to report incidents instantly.

Both systems are supported with Morse Watchmans software for additional control and functionality.

“We can generate useful and practical reports for analysis as well as maintaining maximum control of access and security issues,” Scaglione said. “This added control also makes our staff feel more secure.”

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