Safety

Tip of the Week: With more technology to choose from, it’s important to understand what to buy and why

Hospital Safety Insider, March 10, 2011

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The following question is from the March issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety.

With more technology to choose from, it’s important to understand what to buy and why

Editor’s note: Healthcare Security Alert provides expert answers to your security questions. The following answers were provided by Jason Barton, PE, senior consultant at EDI Ltd., in Atlanta (www.ediltd.com).

Q. What should security departments consider when evaluating technology such as security cameras, monitors, or other equipment?

A. Almost every security department is on a tight budget. Hospitals are no different. Since upgrade projects do not happen very often, hospital security departments need to determine what the best equipment is to fit their application, budget, and growth plans. They need to consider purchasing the most cutting-edge (but not bleeding-edge) technology on the market because if they do not, their equipment will basically be outdated in less than two to three years. This may mean taking a slight risk on equipment that has not been on the market very long.

We recommend our clients select products from established and proven manufacturers to mitigate some of that risk. We definitely recommend a move toward IP-based technology for cameras and video management systems. Video management systems should be open platform so the hospital is not locked into proprietary equipment. For access control systems, they should look for proven manufacturers that integrate well with many other systems such as video surveillance, visitor management, infant protection systems, building management systems, etc. In control rooms, they need to ensure that monitors are designed for 24/7 use.

Visit Briefings on Hospital Safety to see more questions of the month.

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