Hospital Undergoes Integration Operation

Administrators at Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Ind., the largest provider of health services between Indianapolis and St. Louis, enlisted Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) to install and integrate cutting-edge technology across the campus. Besides retrofitting the fire alarm systems for four existing buildings, the hospital looked to bring integrated fire alarm and security systems to a new five-story, 575,000-square-foot facility. The result earned JCI runner-up notice for SSI‘s 2011 Integrated Installation of the Year.

As part of a collaborative design-assist process, hospital executives visited JCI’s Milwaukee headquarters to experience the operation of a wireless controls system. The hospital subsequently made the switch from a wired to wireless approach, saving more than $50,000.

The hospital also sought a health care-specific security need: secure prescription drug drawers for patient rooms. To monitor and control the 36 drawers, JCI installed the same IP door card readers in place at entrances across the campus. Integrated with JCI’s P2000 system, authorized personnel can access and dispense medicines as needed with the swipe of a card.

Let’s look at how JCI delivered on this project with flying colors.

40-Year Partnership Bears Fruit

JCI’s Building Efficiency business operates 500 branch offices in 148 countries to provide security and HVAC systems and services. The firm serves more than 1 million customers in markets such as education, government, office, industrial, transportation, retail and health care.

With funding procured through a public bond sale, Union Hospital turned to a trusted partner it has relied on for products and support for more than 40 years. JCI’s longstanding relationship with the hospital allowed it to engage early in the design process and offer input on everything from budgeting to scheduling to execution.

Johnson Controls was well-positioned to provide value on this particular project given the company’s rich history of helping complex clients deliver successful projects in mission-critical spaces,” says Matthew Isbell, account executive, Major Projects, JCI. “The greatest challenge was ensuring the installed system was easy to operate and maintain, while being flexible to allow future additions.”

IP Access, Video Deployed

The project began in July 2008 and wrapped up in early 2010.

JCI installed its IFC fire alarm and P2000 card access systems. The fire system includes pull stations, smoke detectors, sprinkler monitoring, fire and smoke damper monitoring, horns and strobes, and chime strobes. It is integrated to JCI’s Metasys building automation system. The access system includes 60 IP card readers protecting doors and drug drawers. Video surveillance featuring 120 Panasonic, Sony, Axis and Pelco IP cameras, and Aiphone intercoms were integrated through a Milestone platform. Everything was integrated back into JCI’s physical security information management (PSIM) solution.

“The customer chose Ethernet door controllers, as they sought to integrate as many systems on the IT network as possible,” says Isbell. “Traditionally, card readers are wired to controllers above each door, but Johnson Controls’ solution enabled the hospital to consolidate an entire network.”

JCI had other parties to answer to in addition to the client’s management, and security and IT departments. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the State Fire Marshall Office (local AHJ) played key roles in overseeing the installation of the fire alarm and door release functionality.

Beyond that, installation challenges included migrating 100 existing IP cameras without downtime. “Proper upfront planning and scheduling, as well as ensuring proper technical expertise was onsite, enabled this transition,” says Isbell. Another hurdle was installing the video system into the Milestone platform in a completely virtual environment, in lieu of a traditional physical server typical of past installations. “A large amount of upfront work and investigation ensured the installation went smoothly,” he says.

In It for the Long Haul

As has been the case since their relationship began back in 1968, Union Hospital is pleased with the results of the project. So much so it’s already leading to more business for JCI.

One new development is integration of the building management system (BMS) with the surgery scheduling system. This enables the BMS to identify if there is a patient in the operating room and adjusts the room settings accordingly to reduce costs. And ongoing is JCI adding more card readers.

“The owner understands that any future security needs will be effectively managed by the flexible security solutions from Johnson Controls,” says Isbell.

View JCI’s Union Hospital installation photo gallery.


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