IP Surveillance System Helps Reduce Crime, Improve Safety For Missouri Healthcare Organization

Axis Communications recently announced that Missouri-based CoxHealth has deployed more than 100 Axis network cameras and encoders at its ambulatory surgery center and parking garages to ensure safety and reduce crime.

As a result, the healthcare organization that boasts a 2.3 million-square-feet campus has cut both the number of thefts in its surgery center and vehicle break-ins at its parking lots while maintaining the same size security staff and holding costs down.

NetWatch Inc., an Axis Solution Gold Partner, served as integrator for the IP-based system. It selected Axis as the camera provider because of the company’s superior product warranty, proven quality and consistent experiences of excellent technical support.

Originally, CoxHealth had analog cameras implemented in parts of its facility and parking garages, but they could not be networked together and offered inferior quality images. In addition, it was tedious and time-consuming to pull up video of past incidents using DVRs.

NetWatch worked with CoxHealth to devise a transition strategy that included both network cameras and AXIS 243Q Video Encoders. These encoders enable many IP capabilities, including central monitoring, motion detection and camera tampering alarms, and provide complete integration with other network cameras. Eventually, all analog equipment will be replaced with network cameras from Axis.

NetWatch implemented AXIS 215 PTZ and AXIS 225FD Network Cameras in outdoor areas and AXIS M3011 Network Cameras indoors, the latter supporting advanced H.264 compression allowing CoxHealth to store video for up to 30 days.

NetWatch also implemented OnSSI's Ocularis NetDVMS recorder with Ocularis Client Lite VMS to monitor and manage events and alerts. As opposed to the existing multiple DVR system that required individual login to view and review cameras, the OnSSI VMS enables CoxHealth to centralize camera controls, storage and management. Three Dell servers were also added for additional storage.

In addition to identifying break-ins and accidents occurring in parking garages and entrances/exits, CoxHealth can also identify issues in surgery center hallways, medicine distribution centers and confidential documents rooms to avoid incidents. In fact, the security staffers are commissioned law enforcement officers who make regular arrests and have been successful in their prosecution of crimes thanks to critical video evidence. Security staff monitor network camera views from a central location, leveraging intelligent video and the intuitive OnSSI VMS to identify incidents and dispatch patrolling staff to areas of concern.

“We need to protect our property around the clock,” said Joe Rushing, director of public safety and security for CoxHealth. “We couldn’t possibly hire enough people to cover all the ground that our network surveillance system does. In addition, hospitals can be a target for narcotics theft. So we’ve put Axis cameras at a number of key distribution points where we know there’s a lot of foot traffic, like medication cabinets, medical disposal areas and our pharmacy.”

Among the benefits of IP-based systems is the ease and speed of identifying incidents. CoxHealth can now pinpoint video footage in only minutes vs. hours-to-days using the old analog system.

In one high profile arrest, individuals stole a backhoe from a neighboring construction site. Using the outdoor, high-resolution Axis network cameras, CoxHealth quickly identified the suspects’ car following the stolen backhoe and utilized footage to help apprehend and arrest the culprits.

In the next implementation phase, approximately 60 Axis network cameras will be installed in the new emergency room building to monitor medication disposal, storage, pharmacy and common areas. CoxHealth also anticipates implementing advanced video analytics to help determine the number of vehicles using parking facilities as well as patients and visitors entering and leaving facilities.

“CoxHealth is a great example of how network cameras can benefit healthcare organizations in many ways, from theft to safety to liability,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications Inc. “As megapixel and HDTV capabilities proliferate into the medical field, we’ll see even more business and operational uses for network video, including cameras in the O.R. for liability purposes and distance learning, as well as analytics to help hospitals run their services more efficiently.”


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