Copyright 2001. SECURITY Magazine. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Kaiser Permanente Upgrades its Security Infrastructure
Kaiser Permanente’s West Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, and Los Angeles Medical Centers have thousands of visitors, employees, and patients each day. In order to properly protect and accommodate the vast amount of people visiting their hospitals, Kaiser Permanente thought it would be necessary to upgrade the security infrastructure throughout their campuses. Kaiser Permanente decided it was ready to start with the first phase of its security upgrade project. The campuses of West Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, and Los Angeles Medical Centers had a variety of security installations supplied by several different companies. Early on it was decided that they needed to streamline their systems through one primary product. After a short search, Talkaphone was chosen as the primary supplier for the project.
Emergency communication was the largest concern at the three campuses, thus emergency communication on the campuses was the first issue to be addressed during the project. Upgrades were needed at each medical center’s indoor parking structures and outdoor lots. Talkaphone supplied these locations with ETP-WM and ETP-MT emergency phones.
The ETP-WM model is a wall-mounted blue light emergency phone for remote and high-risk areas. It was deemed a perfect fit for the parking structures and remote stairwells throughout the Kaiser Permanente campuses. The ETP-MT is a blue light emergency phone tower for outdoor remote areas. In order to provide close emergency communication to all areas of their outdoor lots, Kaiser Permanente thought that the installation of the ETP-MT towers would be a great addition.
The greatest benefit of the emergency phone wall mounts and towers is their ease of use and availability. Every day, due to a large amount of traffic at each center, there are many individuals who may have to park across each campus in more remote areas. Individuals who may be at the medical centers for an emergency or in and out care may need assistance due to these locations.
When activated, the wall mounts and towers immediately connect to the campus security or police dispatch center. Even if the individual who activated the unit cannot respond verbally, the exact location of the unit is provided to the dispatch center so that they can send immediate assistance.
Also, each unit is connected to a blue LED strobe light that flashes during activation. This blue strobe alerts anyone nearby that there is an emergency and it provides a beacon for emergency personnel responding to the call.
Another benefit that individuals at the Kaiser medical centers noticed was that individuals who activated the phones didn’t need to keep pushing a button every time they wanted to talk. The advantage of the Talkaphone wall and tower phones is that they only require a single push of the “emergency” button to be constantly connected to a dispatcher. This allows the individual who accessed the phone, or anyone else at the scene, the ability to tend to the situation at hand while still being able to talk to the dispatcher.
Additionally, the goal of the three medical centers was to install a product that worked seamlessly with their current security infrastructure. Talkaphone was able to easily integrate with the products already in place at those locations. This eventually led to a more streamlined use of the security infrastructure on Kaiser campuses. Existing cameras and access control systems were able to work with the new emergency phones without any problems.
West Los Angeles Medical Center was the first location to install the new wall-mounted blue light emergency phones in their parking garages. They installed nearly thirty wall mounts across the campus. The Los Angeles Medical Center was the next location to be upgraded.
Two years later they installed almost one hundred surface wall mounts in their parking garages. Later that year, the Woodland Hills Medical Center received the final upgrade with nearly 30 wall mounts and five towers.
In order to make the entire installation process go smoothly, Security Solutions was hired to oversee the installation and implementation of the new Talkaphone products. Jim McCollum, Vice President of Security Solutions, oversaw the upgrades over five years. Mr. McCollum had the following to say about the project, “We’ve installed the 24-volt wall mount units and we’ve also installed Talkaphone’s ETP-MT towers. The installations went very smoothly and we didn’t encounter any problems.”
Like with every new product installation there are challenges to overcome. Kaiser Permanente and Security Solutions were pleased that no major issues arose during installation or implementation. For minor technical questions and fixes, both Kaiser and Security Solutions were pleased to find out how helpful Talkaphone could be.
“We’ve never really had any major or serious issues when installing the Talkaphone wall mounts and towers for Kaiser Permanente. Most of the time we handled any issues that came up during installation, which were typical and minor. However, whenever we were stumped or needed some assistance, we contacted Talkaphone tech support. Our technicians have told me that the Talkaphone response has been very helpful. They’ve always been around to help with any challenges.”
Initially, not everyone at Kaiser Permanente was convinced that the upgrades were needed. However, after installation, the wary began to change their minds. Mr. McCollum said, “I think everyone in the entire Kaiser organization has begun to understand the required security standards. Kaiser has been very happy with Talkaphone and the installation. They have mentioned to me that they think that these units have really enhanced what they currently had out there. Everyone sees the benefits and Security Solutions is happy to be a part of it.”
Overall the upgrades at Kaiser Permanente’s West Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, and Los Angeles Medical Centers was a huge success. The units brought awareness to their members that they have the ability to get immediate emergency assistance within their parking structures and parking lots. Security Solutions provided a flawless installation and implementation, and everyone is now excited to move onto phase two of the upgrade.
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- Date July 17, 2001
- Tags Healthcare