North Memorial Health Care Upgrades to Digital Surveillance Technology

For more than 50 years, North Memorial Health Care in the Twin Cities suburb of Robbinsdale, Minn. has provided health care to surrounding communities. What began as a 30-bed hospital has grown to a 518-bed medical center that is certified as a Level 1 Trauma Center, Level II Pediatric Trauma Center and Certified Primary Stroke Center.

Ensuring the safety of patients, employees and visitors to the medical center 24 hours a day is a dedicated security staff. For the past 15 years, security officers have been monitoring surveillance, alarms and dispatch from a control room utilizing analog video and CRT monitors.

Recently, North Memorial enlisted the help of Pro-Tec Design to update the company’s security control room with digital technology. This includes the addition of 200-250 IP cameras, new flat panel monitors and a new control room console.

“With all of the new technology that’s come around the workspace didn’t work for them anymore,” says Paul Dykema of Pro-Tec Design. “So we remodeled everything for them.”

In preparation for the upgrade the existing control room was completely gutted, painted and retiled. This included removing an older control room console that had housed the now outdated technology.

A centerpiece of the new control room is a console that will house all of the monitors, phones, alarm panels and CPUs. The older console was a Winsted System/85 console designed to house 9-inch, black and white CRT monitors, various rack-mount electronics and numerous VCRs.

The grey System/85 console was original to the control room and had held up well over the years. So when the time came to select a new console considering new Winsted products seemed like natural place to begin.

“We needed to blow up the old analog monitors and whole console setup – scrap that and start over,” says Rick Ramacher, security manager for North Memorial Health Care. “The [Winsted] product just seems so well-built for the long haul, which is what we were looking for in the new console.”

Ramacher and his team have worked with the experts at Pro-Tec for years and trusted their input into what surveillance equipment would work best and how the console should be designed to maximize comfort and efficiency.

“The new Winsted console is really designed for working with the flat panel monitors, computers, keyboards and mice,” Dykema says. “It works for the way they do business today.”

The console is a Winsted Sight-Line, which is ergonomically designed and ideal for use in 24/7 control room environments. The console features Winsted’s exclusive Versa-Trak monitor mounting system for ultimate flexibility of sightlines for each operator.

Versa-Trak consists of a horizontal aluminum track integrated into the console to support a wide variety of monitor arrays. Versa-Trak enables easy horizontal adjustment, and post-mounted VESA brackets provide the ability to tilt and pivot monitors. This mounting arrangement also allows for plenty of desktop workspace.

The North Memorial console is L-shaped with six 22-inch mounted monitors and faces five additional 40-inch monitors mounted to the wall. The ergonomic design of the console allows operators to easily alternate viewing angles between console-mounted and wall-mounted monitors.

Additionally, the Sight-Line console features space for CPUs and rack-mount electronics in easy-to-access cabinets in the base of the console. A dual cable raceway keeps wiring organized and out-of-sight. A credenza mounted to the end of the console keeps manuals, logs and other reference material close at hand.

The console will allow North Memorial’s security staff to make the best possible use of the surveillance technology now available to them.

“It’s exactly what we were looking for,” Ramacher says. “We believe that the durability is going to be great for us. It’s certainly ergonomically friendly. It’s been absolutely a dramatic improvement for our surveillance area. We are very happy thus far.”

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