Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente

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No doubt, upgrading security has become the top priority this year for security managers and IT departments alike. What is your plan of action?

Proactive Measures

One such plan of action is evident in the physical security planning of the Colorado-area corporation, Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente is a partnership between the non-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and the Colorado Permanente Medical Group, the oldest and largest group of doctors in the state of Colorado.

Kaiser’s security manager, Jeff Karpovich, CPP, CHPA (certified healthcare protection administrator) and CFE (certified fraud examiner), is taking a proactive stance on securing his facilities. Not only is security at his facilities becoming state of the art, it is also preparing for the daunting task of becoming HIPAA-compliant.

Is There Anybody out There?

Communication across the campus grounds is critical in the integrated security effort. Talk-A-Phone, Chicago, has created communication towers outside the buildings, which Karpovich calls HELP, for healthcare emergency locator phone.

“HELP was a project I did four years ago when I was in hospital-shared services. I worked with Talk-A-Phone to find a tower that fitted the hospitals and healthcare theme. I selected a particular shade of blue that is now in their inventory and they call it safety blue. I wanted it to say HELP in much larger, ScotchLite letters”, Karpovich says.

Not only that, Karpovich wanted to send a message to the user that this is more than for just an emergency. Whether you are lost or have a flat tire, it is to be inviting. “This is why I went from bright red to hospital blue, which they now call safety blue. And I wanted HELP on it instead of emergency. Then I coined the phrase as a HELP project for healthcare emergency locator phones. They adopted the color that I selected as one of their stock colors”.

The Talk-A-Phone system has a two-button phone; one says emergency on the face of it and the other one says info.

The emergency button is programmed with two auxiliary outputs. One output turns on the strobe light, which is one and a half million candle power is atop the tower and is programmed to strobe as long as the phone call is on or as long as the phone is open, although the guard can turn it off. The other auxiliary is an alarm input to the back of the DVR and then that is translated through Integral’s RemoteView software and master control software to the OASIS software that the security officer sees at the SCC.

“If somebody pushes the button and we say hello, may we help you? And the party on the other end is not able to speak for some reason-just been assaulted or had a heart attack-and we hear nothing, we can have a CCTV camera, working in conjunction with an emergency button, scan the area”, says Karpovich.

Late-Night Protection

Some of the nurses at Kaiser use the Talk-A-Phone tower with CCTV system as a video escort so that they can walk safely to their car late at night.

“Anybody predisposed to do anything stupid will be far less apt to act because they are being monitored”, says Karpovich.

By having video reporting back ten to thirty miles away over a WAN, security officers, as soon as that button is pushed, can swing the camera right to the bottom of that HELP phone tower. Video is transmitted to the monitoring center and the security officer can see who is there, perhaps more importantly, who is not there.

“Seconds literally count. With the Talk-A-Phone system, you get more than anecdotal data. You have real-time data that is recorded on a hard drive”, says Sam Shanes, executive vice president of Talk-A-Phone.

On the subject of parking lot security, Karpovich has installed wireless PTZ cameras high atop light posts to monitor lots that have been troubled in the past. Pelco cameras are used with Trango Systems, San Diego, Eagle Plus transmitters, which collects the video at the remote location and delivers it wirelessly to the receiver.

“I’m trying to get the whole profession here modernized. So far as protecting our physical environment under HIPAA, we will exceed the access control requirements to safeguard our information with our proactive approach”, says Karpovich.

excerpted from an article by John Mesenbrink
photo by John Johnson

  • Date April 11, 2016
  • Tags Healthcare