End to End Surveillance
Security companies integrate audio and video to deliver immediate ROI via risk reduction
- By Nicole Segura, Vance Kozik
- Jun 01, 2012
Two acute behavioral health facilities—members of a Fortune 500
healthcare management corporation—serving youth, adult and senior
psychiatric patients from four counties in North Texas sought
to enhance patient care and staff safety and training by replacing
their existing analog surveillance system with an end-to-end, IPbased
D-Link Systems, Preferred Technology Solutions (PTS) and Video Insight collaborated
on the implementation to provide digital video and audio surveillance
and recording capabilities that have more than satisfied the stringent risk management
policies of the parent corporation and industry standards.
The Vision: High Risk Management
At the behavioral health hospitals, risk management and staff training programs
play an important role in the overall vision of their parent corporation by creating
a safe and effective environment for patients, employees, visitors and the general
public. Central to the success of these programs is a dependable, robust video
Ongoing and new staff training, as well as around-the-clock patient monitoring,
are crucial to improving patient care while reducing risk. Previously, having
an ineffectual surveillance system severely limited the ability of the hospitals to
deliver the top-level training needed to fulfill their mission.
In addition, dispute resolution and litigation over patient handling in the facilities
often hinged on inadequate picture quality and eyewitness accounts, resulting
in higher legal fees and limited prevention of future incidents through visual
training. Both locations also had experienced theft of hospital supplies and even
an employee assault in the parking lot. Clearly, a dramatic change was required.
In an effort to boost the risk management program at both hospitals, the corporate
office decided to replace the existing analog video surveillance systems at the
hospitals—both of which had tight budgetary guidelines.
The IT director for both facilities envisioned an IP-based solution that could
not only use their existing network, but provide higher image quality, flexibility
and scalability as video archival needs grew or new locations required additional
cameras. He knew he needed an experienced local partner that could deliver a
high-value, reliable IP-based system and could assist with the installation and all
the details of a project of this size. Richardson, Texas-based PTS was selected
because of its expertise in IP surveillance.
The Solution: Video and Audio Surveillance
on a Private Network
PTS recommended D-Link’s end-to-end IP surveillance solution, which included
D-Link professional services for certified installation and configuration, and
Video Insight for the video management software. The IT and facilities directors
were particularly impressed with the system’s ability to deliver high-quality video
in low-light areas, digital streaming, centralization, easy system management and
overall low cost of operation.
Video Insight was selected for its easy-to-use surveillance software solution and
scalability and centralization capabilities—ideal features for a hospital setting,
which often has multiple campuses and many users.
The VMS integrates with Active Directory, LDAP and Novell eDirectory for a
seamless user experience and an easily manageable solution. Maps—such as those
that indicate hospital wings and campuses—with the ability to quickly denote a
location along with a live camera feed can be integrated into Video Insight.
The behavioral health hospitals now have robust, end-to-end surveillance networks
founded on 250 D-Link day/night fixed-dome IP cameras, which are installed
indoors in each of the hospital’s four psychiatric units as well as in exterior
courtyard areas and parking lots. The cameras run on private networks through
D-Link’s xStack Gigabit Layer 2 Managed PoE switches, selected for their ability
to handle the additional load of real-time audio and provide both power and networking
to the cameras installed in exterior courtyards and parking lots.
Storing the mandated 30 to 90 days of audio and video footage was achieved
with D-Link’s xStack iSCSI SAN array. Using a 10-GB iSCSI System-on-a-Chip
solution that can handle more than 80,000 I/Os per second, the scan array can
support 30 TB of raw capacity. The network administrator is easily able to add
capacity by swapping mix-and-match drives in one of the unit’s expandable bays.
While special software modifications were required to support the audio feature,
Video Insight worked diligently with PTS and D-Link Professional Services
to ensure uninterrupted dual audio/video surveillance—a rare implementation in
Among the many beneficial features to the system is remote access via the Video
Insight Web Client, which works with any Internet browser and provides access to
live and recorded video from any server (at no extra charge), allowing hospital staff,
security and risk personnel the ability to monitor camera activity anytime day or
night from any location. With the VI Mobile App, users can access live and recorded
video from any camera; control pan, tilt and zoom; and view motion alarms and logs
from a smartphone or tablet with a secure connection to the Internet.
Immediate Results Today: Built for the Needs of Tomorrow
Results of the new surveillance system were immediate and profound—from locating
an unsupervised delusional patient to catching a parking lot purse snatcher—and
the legal fees saved through accurate audio and video footage have been significant.
Improvements in risk reduction, as well as improved training and event resolution,
continue to add ROI to the D-Link/PTS/Video Insight IP surveillance solution.
There are future benefits, as well. The flexibility and scalability of the D-Link
and Video Insight system will easily accommodate the growth and change common
in healthcare facilities.
Having more than justified the cost of upgrading their antiquated analog system
to a robust, end-to-end IP surveillance system, the hospitals are realizing the
benefits of creating an environment that is safe,
effective and profitable for all.
This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Security Today.