Hospital System Handled With Intensive Care

In Ohio, a little more than one year ago the Toledo Hospital and Toledo Children’s Hospital opened a state-of-the-art campus dubbed “The Renaissance.” The 10-story tower is credited as a kind of rebirth for the original complex, which is now able to offer an enhanced patient care experience and expanded services for communities throughout a 27-county region.

Operated by the nonprofit ProMedica Health System, the 500,000-square-foot tower houses vital clinical areas of the Toledo Hospital and Toledo Children’s Hospital, including a surgical intensive care unit (ICU), adult intermediate care units, a newborn ICU, general pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology.

The facility features 289 spacious, private adult and pediatric patient rooms, while a two-story atrium offers an aesthetically pleasing space for patients and visitors to commingle. The interior design throughout the hospital promotes themes of nature and healing, and artistic works are featured to illustrate the healing elements of earth, air, water and sun.

Simultaneously reaching new heights are efforts to keep the hospitals’ staff, patients and visitors more secure — an undertaking boosted by a new video surveillance system powered by technology from Panasonic System Solutions Co. (PSSA).

Although reaping the benefits of working with the latest video equipment, the installing contractor nevertheless had to rely on old-fashioned resourcefulness to meet project demands that were made even more pressing by strict budget limitations.

 Seamless Integration of Old, New

When ProMedica officials were planning for the Renaissance expansion in 2004, new video surveillance capability quickly became part of the mission. The hospital’s existing security command center located on the first floor in the north parking garage had outgrown its dedicated space. The center would have to be enlarged and modernized to accommodate more than 160 cameras that would watch over the new tower.

Torrence Sound Equipment Co., a Perrysburg, Ohio-based systems integrator with a longstanding relationship with the hospital, was awarded the project bid to have a camera cover every stairwell, every elevator alcove, and all entrance and exit points. Three cameras would also be needed in a new parking lot, and because the hospital’s emergency room is a hot spot security personnel wanted to keep close eyes on images from cameras covering that area as well.

Torrence Sound’s directive from ProMedica was to provide viewing capability for all cameras in the security control center and from remote sites, since the administrative offices are in a separate building.

After spotting camera locations, the wiring was an expedient endeavor thanks to the new tower’s fiber backbone. With system design work aided by Sylvania, Ohio-based JDRM Engineering, Torrence Sound also worked closely with an electrical contractor that ran coaxial cable from each camera to a closet on each floor. From there, the video jumps on multimode fiber running to a matrix switch located in a secured room on the basement floor.

In the security control center, a second matrix switch receives video from all pre-existing analog cameras. A new Panasonic controller provides seamless operation between all the cameras and DVRs.

“An officer with the single controller can seamlessly talk between the two matrix systems because they are integrated together,” says Frank Mramor, sales engineer for Torrence Sound. In fact, video can be viewed from any computer on the network by accessing the digital recorders using Panasonic’s management software.

“I can do it all from my desk,” says Don Sullivan, security technical specialist at Toledo Hospital.

Hospital security personnel wanted to capture one or two images per second on every camera, operating 24/7. The 1.5 terabytes of storage on each Panasonic DVR allow for a 10- to 15-day review period. If there is a security incident, the event and associated video can be downloaded and preserved as long as necessary, including the date and time of the incident.

“With all the cameras we have added and everything digital now, whatever happens throughout any of our monitored locations we will likely have some video of it. The system also can protect us from a liability standpoint,” Sullivan says.

About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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