Protection 1 Installs Security System for End User With Unique Set of Circumstances

Pharmaceutical company Option Care had specific regulations it needed to follow, and P1 came through with a solution that earned the 2016 SSI Integrated Installation of the Year (multisite solution) award.

ONE of the qualities that allow chains like McDonald’s, Chipotle, Subway and Starbucks to be so successful is the uniformity of their stores, standardized practices and product consistency. Thanks to today’s sophisticated networked and cloud-based security technologies, it has now become possible to design and roll out security solutions on a similar scale and with equally keen precision. Protection 1 recently delivered such a solution nationwide for pharmaceutical company Option Care.

Option Care is one of the nation’s largest providers of home and alternate treatment site infusion services, with 92 pharmacies and 110 treatment sites staffed by 1,700 clinical experts treating patients for a range of acute and chronic conditions. The company operates in a highly-regulated industry with temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals prone to theft. Protection 1 recommended and the client agreed to have its entire security operation outsourced.

“This customer was part of a larger organization that was spun off to be a new independent entity. Much of its prior growth came through acquisition, so there was no standard security platform or program,” says Ken Schafenberg, P1 vice president of Integrated Solutions. “Protection 1 was contracted to design, implement, install and monitor and manage customized end-to-end integrated security systems that included a dedicated security-only network that would be separate from the business network and host the intrusion, electronic access control, IP video with remote viewing capabilities and advanced temperature monitoring capabilities.”

Protection 1’s Integrated Solutions Division specializes in large, complex enterprise projects that require deep knowledge and advanced skillsets in both security and IT. According to P1, it is the only company in the security industry to hold Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Express Partner Certification. Its dedicated project management teams worked directly with Option Care, from design through completion, and the feat brought Protection 1 the 2016 SSI Integrated Installation of the Year (multisite solution).

Integrator Versed in Compliance

The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated. Participating companies must comply with state board of pharmacy security specifications and, in some cases, federal mandates. HIPAA privacy regulations also apply, and as an added twist, each state may adopt its own security specifications. For national companies like P1 this represents a long list of additional challenges. If a state or federal audit finds a location out of compliance, large fines, or even immediate site closure, can result.

“Security and regulatory compliance are constantly evolving for the pharmaceutical industry,” says John Lettieri, P1 national account manager for Option Care. “For example, USP [U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention] Chapter 797, which provides procedures and requirements for compounding sterile preparations to prevent harm to patients that could result from contamination, is now adding more security-related requirements that providers must be aware of and comply with. Security systems today need to provide an audit trail that shows a secure environment is being maintained.”


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In the face of those challenges, P1’s unique capabilities, track record taking on similar projects and established relationship with Option Care executives made the integrator the obvious choice for this job. Work commenced the beginning of July 2015 and was substantially completed by the end of October.

“We were looking for a highly integrated solution and a supplier that could act as our outsourced security department. We are tasked with protecting our people, patients and assets, which include drug and drug compounds used to fight cancer,” says Steve Paulson, director of facilities, Option Care.

One of the important components of the system is temperature-monitoring.

Protection 1 did extensive risk assessments at each Option Care site to understand the specific needs of the location to be incorporated into the overall design of the system. The integrator worked with a number of individuals within the client’s organization to ensure the system met the requirements of the business, including extensive auditing capabilities.

Key stakeholders the integrator had to coordinate with included personnel associated with facilities, real estate, architects, leasing agents and the end user’s executive suite. Protection 1 was part of weekly status calls to track the progress of the installation and implementation, and identify and correct any potential issues or challenges before they became problems.

The solution included monitoring critical drug temperature information to ensure safety and regulatory requirements were maintained. According to P1, it is the only company that actively monitors Panasonic’s new temperature- sensing technology to provide real-time alerts.

When monitored drug cabinets or safes are out of allowable temperature ranges, P1’s operations center receives an alarm signal. An alarm is also triggered if anything is amiss regarding door status, power or any possible refrigerant leaks. Protection 1 monitors the temperature of drug vaults and, in some cases, temperature of the drugs themselves and can notify the site manager of specific temperature change information.

About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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