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Challenges that hospital security installers face during COVID-19

Challenges that hospital security installers face during COVID-19
Hospital security installers face restricted movement of nonessential workers, costs of personal protective equipment (PPE), low-quality products, and lack of personal interaction in business.
Installing CCTV, access control, and fire alarm solutions in hospitals have become slightly more complicated than usual after COVID-19 began. Besides, the pandemic has also driven demand for more unconventional solutions.

The significant challenges that hospital security installers face are the restricted movement of nonessential workers, costs of personal protective equipment (PPE), the arrival of low-quality products in the market, and lack of personal interaction in business.

Restricted access and cost of PPE

After COVID-19 began, many hospitals and healthcare facilities have had to limit access to sites for all nonessential workers. This included installation and service technicians and meant that ongoing installation projects could not be completed or started. This has also caused service and preventative maintenance work to be postponed. 

"Some of the ways to overcome this are to work with service and projects organizations that deploy stringent procedures regarding PPE and safety protocols while at customer sites, conduct regular staff testing, comply to social distancing procedures, and have procedures for the sanitizing worksites and work tools," said David Grant, Director of Marketing for Global Vertical Markets at Honeywell Building Solutions. "These policies and procedures and the ability to articulate them to customers provide greater confidence in your service and projects organization that it is safe to have you working on their site."

However, using PPE would increase the cost of operations for an SI, which may, in turn, increase the costs for the end customer.
Grant further added that from a service and preventative and predictive maintenance perspective, these unprecedented circumstances should serve as a tipping point moment for the adoption of remote assistance. When every person on site is a potential vector for the spread, not needing to send someone to site to service or repair the price of the equipment is extremely valuable.

Safety of installers

Stuart Rawling, VP of Technology and Customer Engagement at Pelco explained that their biggest challenge is implementing security solutions in a way that not only makes all staff, patients, and residents feel entirely safe and protected, but also so that our heroes—the dedicated healthcare providers—can proceed with normal operations without disruption.

"Integrating quality video surveillance systems with an open architecture and being able to ensure compliance is a great way to start, but we also have to realize that providing fundamental support and training to staff can be the differential in enabling continuity of service and successfully creating a secured care environment," Rawling added.

Lack of personal touch hurting business

Work from home and remote working has become the norm for many industries after COVID-19. This has even resulted in increased efficiency in practice for some, despite some cybersecurity concerns that have surfaced. But for the security installation industry, remote working has had a negative impact.

"I think more than technology can address, the relationships being built between solution providers, integrators, and customers have to come first," said Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications at Vanderbilt Industries. "That's a big challenge in the current environment where the face-to-face service that we've grown accustomed to has gone by the wayside."

Low-quality COVID-19 safety products

Finally, a severe challenge that the entire industry appears to face now is the increased proliferation of low-quality security products that promise to help the customer deal with COVID-19 threats. These include temperature monitoring and surveillance equipment. Due to the unprecedented pressure that the pandemic has brought in, customers are forced to opt for whatever is available in the market while keeping costs low, fearing a financial crisis. 

"There are a lot of questionable solutions that are being presented and marketed to end customers," said Paul Baratta, Segment Development Manager at Axis Communications. "Some security directors are under great pressure for an easy technology fix to access and screening of patients, staff, and visitors. Some are making decisions to purchase expensive solutions that may or may not be safe or provide the level of protection that is marketed." 

During this time, doing research, finding what is being done in the industry, and learning from others' experiences is extremely important. As a solution provider it is paramount to be a trusted advisor and provide the best information that you can on solutions, what works and expectations of the solution and the pitfalls. This is the time to prove your worth to the end customer.  
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