Texan hospital centralizes property management and security on IP backbone

Texan hospital centralizes property management and security on IP backbone

Christus Spohn Hospital's medical office buildings (MOBs) in Corpus Christi, Texas, needed a solution that would allow its property managers to increase security and worker productivity throughout the five buildings. The MOBs were also burdened with high costs of insurance claims they were unable to disprove from visitors who alleged they were injured while on the property.

The MOBs' property management staff worked with Bandwidth Dynamics (BD), a telecommunications consulting company that offers full service installations, to choose a network video surveillance system consisting of 56 Axis network cameras spread across all five buildings. The network cameras were installed by BD both inside and outside of buildings near entrances, exits, elevators, fire escapes and parking lots. The system uses XProtect surveillance application software which is developed by Axis application development partner Milestone Systems.

The Axis network video system enables Christus Spohn Hospital MOBs' property management staff to continually monitor all critical areas of the buildings in realtime from their PCs. Since implementing the new system, the MOBs have already realized multiple benefits, including the ability to disprove false insurance claims, resolve employee disputes and improve worker productivity. The entire MOB staff also feels they have better overall control over each facility's security and management.

A knowing eye
The Axis network video system gives authorized users at the MOBs the ability to view live video from the network cameras over their PCs that are in the building's WAN. The Milestone XProtect software provides the MOBs with functionality such as motion detection and the ability to archive and record video.

Prior to installing the Axis system, Christus Spohn Hospital MOBs had no surveillance system in place, just a few security guards stationed in some of the buildings. A few years ago, one of the buildings had a major breakin, and the MOBs could not provide the police with any evidence from a surveillance camera to aid in the investigation. Now, should a break-in occur, the MOBs are confident that valuable evidence can be produced.

Additionally, building doors were frequently found to be left open all night, and janitors or the property staff were often blamed. With the new Axis network cameras in place, the MOBs can go back and review the video from the nights in question to easily locate the culprit. Christus Spohn Hospital MOBs were also facing financial pressures from several claims filed by patients who insisted they fell in hallways or other areas of the building and injured themselves. Without video, the MOBs had no way to disprove the claims. Now, they are better equipped to find out what exactly occurred during any incident.

Other incidents can now be brought to resolution quickly as well. The network cameras recorded a delivery truck running into a staff member's parked car in the parking lot, and subsequently pulling away without notifying anyone. The MOBs were able to retrieve the video of the incident and catch the person responsible. Yet another benefit the MOBs gain from using the Axis system is increased productivity.

"As each day goes by, we're finding more and more benefits of the Axis network video system," said Dan Smart, property manager for Christus Spohn Hospital MOBs. "Since installing the network cameras, we've been able to control costs through everything from preventing dishonest claims to increasing productivity."

A healthy installation
To support the surveillance system, BD built a new IP network for the facilities, which provides an open architecture that operates over conventional network infrastructure. Bandwidth Dynamics managed and completed the installation of the cabling, electrical equipment, network servers, switches and software. Each building is equipped with its own network server to support the building's network cameras over its local area network (LAN). The MOBs plan to unify each facility over one network in the future, which will allow them to have remote access capabilities. This adaptable system does not lock the MOBs into particular product lines, giving them the flexibility to easily expand in the future and upgrade to newly launched Axis network cameras.

Using an IP-Surveillance system provides cost savings and flexibility benefits to Christus Spohn Hospital MOBs when compared with the use of an analog system. An IP-based system allows the network servers to be easily moved if the MOBs relocate to new facilities. With an analog system, any equipment relocation would be extremely complicated. Additionally, installation and management costs are more expensive for an analog system, particularly because it requires the use of expensive coax cabling.

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