Cancer hospital employees better not go where they don't belong

No added costs for integration with Dana Farber’s Tyco upgrade
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BOSTON—An upgrade of its access control system has enabled the Dana Farber Cancer Institute here to introduce Wi-Fi locks without building a new system to manage them, has provided more information about cardholders and provides automatic reports.

That’s all without making a huge dent in the renowned hospital’s security budget.

The new Wi-Fi locks did not require “a new computer in a room for someone to look at,” said DFCI manager of security services Ralph Nerette.

Typically, integrating new interfaces and adding equipment is costly. Training employees to use the new systems can be expensive, too, but his new system “is so easy to use, the training time is shorter,” he told Security Director News.

The upgrade this year to Tyco’s CCure9000 from CCure 800 allows DFCI to determine access control cardholders’ functions in the organization along with their work hours, he said. That allows him and his staff “to make better decisions about access control,” such as ensuring that cardholders have access only to those areas that are appropriate for their jobs, he said. “This is a significant change for us.”

Team AVS handled the CCURE 9000 install while another integrator—Tesla Systems—handled the IP video migration.

It wasn’t an upgrade just for “upgrade’s sake,” he said. It provides key integration capabilities, giving him and his staff the ability to “introduce third-party technologies in a way that we’re not introducing new interfaces,” he said.

In addition, “we can send a report out of the last 24 hours, a list of all the people who have been rejected at the door and then can determine if it was a legitimate access attempt,” he said.

The upgrade has made workflow and other processes more efficient, he said.

The hospital had been using the CCure 800 system since 2003. CCure 9000 delivers access control while allowing customers to utilize IT-standard tools and distributed architecture, Tyco says. The system’s flexibility grants security professionals the freedom to deploy a unique solution for their business, it says, “with seamless integration” of disparate devices.

In Boston, Dana Farber, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, has four campuses and some standalone buildings, for a total of 2.5 million square feet. It employs 4,000 along with contract workers who bring the total workforce to 7,000. It sees about 1,400 patients a day. CCure provides the 15 buildings’ access control system and manages security throughout the campuses, Nerette said.

In Connecticut, Kenneth Rasmussen, manager of security services for Waterbury Hospital, says he is looking to upgrade from CCure 800 to CCure 9000 as well. He recently was working on a grant application for funding to do so.

Compatibility of various devices, better lockdown capabilities and the merger/integration of CCTV with access control would benefit his 350-bed hospital, Rasmussen told Security Director News.