End to End Surveillance

Security companies integrate audio and video to deliver immediate ROI via risk reduction

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 surveillance solution.

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 surveillance system.

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 the industry.

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.

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