Healthcare facilities across the globe rely on Convergint Technologies to substantially improve the quality and timeliness of patient care and to ensure that care is delivered in a safe and cost-effective manner. By providing effective integration of systems, Convergint is pivotal to healthcare organizations who are diligently working towards achieving meaningful improvements.
One of Convergint’s premium healthcare partners is Milestone Systems. Milestone provides the needed flexibility for a healthcare monitoring system and is a global industry leader in open platform IP video management software. Milestone has worked with a diverse group of clients including hospitals, outpatient centers, specialized clinics, and long-term assisted living facilities.
Subject matter expert Ryan Mellow, Milestone’s Key Account Manager for Healthcare, discusses security solutions and trends for healthcare facilities.
Tell us about your professional background.
I have over a decade of professional sales experience and territory management in the electronic security and system integration fields, specializing in enterprise-level access control, IP video management, video analytics, intrusion detection, IP communication systems, and private security networks.
What do you think are some of the most common security problems and related solutions in the healthcare vertical?
Some common security issues that healthcare systems face today include: illegal parking, infant abduction, loss of high value assets, internal and external theft, workplace violence, drug diversion, emergency room, violence, street violence, domestic violence, patient elopement, vandalism, terrorism, and the access, use, and theft of drugs and pharmaceuticals.
There are many solutions to address these threats. Some of these solutions include:
- Video management software
- High-resolution cameras
- Access control systems
- Intrusion detection systems
- Mass notification systems
- Video analytics software
- License plate recognition systems
- Radio frequency identification (RFID)
- Point of sale systems (POS)
- Advanced situational awareness and video searching technologies
How would you describe a typical healthcare facility solution set up?
A typical deployment in today’s healthcare environment revolves around a main facility that acts as the centralized point, which may or may not have a security operations center that is manned. The system then rolls out to other remote locations, such as outpatient centers, clinics, and more. Typically video is recorded locally at the remote locations, but the system is managed from the central location. We have also seen a rise in end users utilizing existing IT infrastructure and putting Milestone software on virtualized servers to take advantage of existing data center resources.
What size of healthcare facilities can benefit from these solutions?
We have experience with healthcare facilities of all sizes, ranging from small clinics to 1,000+ bed locations. Healthcare today is so dynamic in its growth, and our software scalability addresses that challenge. End users can feel comfortable that they are not making a misstep with the Milestone system they choose today because it will grow with their needs.
What benefits do you think a healthcare facility receives when partnering with Milestone and Convergint on security?
First, the facility benefits from the expertise that both Convergint and Milestone have in this vertical market, which can be shown through the numbers and pedigree of the health systems with which we currently work. Secondly, having Convergint as a national integrator with an excellent service record that has certified operations not only in Milestone technology but a number of the other systems that are being utilized in the healthcare environment, is very powerful. End users see great value in having world-class software in combination with a partner who can help them support these systems across large geographies.
How important is cyber security in the healthcare vertical and what steps does Milestone take to address cyber concerns?
Cyber security in healthcare is extremely important. Just recently, the WannaCry attack crippled access to the National Health Service Computer in England. Patients were told to stay home, and doctors and nurses could not access email or medical records. The possibility of private health information being hacked can be very damaging both from a reputational standpoint and a financial standpoint. Milestone has created features within the software to help end users develop policies to deter these types of attacks. Features such as dual-authentication for system access, end-to-end video encryption, and digital signing and encryption of exported video all help play a role in a cyber security plan.
Can solutions from Milestone help with JCAHO reports & accreditation?
Yes, much of The Joint Commission standards are related to safety, specifically patient safety and security. Milestone not only helps meet these standards through video security, but the open platform plays a key role in integration and ease of use with life safety systems, patient diagnostic systems, and nurse call systems.
Can Milestone be used for anything beyond security in a healthcare setting? Any examples of how you help to improve efficiency or operations?
Absolutely – the open platform methodology does not end with security-related integrations. Milestone enables integration with building management systems, traffic management systems, business intelligence analytics, and even environmental uses. One example specifically in healthcare that we have seen is the use of our video technology to aid in “sitter” applications. This is a practice whereby a healthcare professional is specifically assigned to monitor at-risk patients. Milestone has been utilized to increase the number of patients one healthcare professional can monitor at a time, thereby reducing cost and resources.