Keeping assets safe

August 2012 Integrated Solutions, Healthcare (Industry)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions looks at some of the issues around security at the Tygerberg Hospital.

Tygerberg Hospital in the Western Cape employs 4500 people and is the second largest public hospital in the country. The facility also acts as a teaching hospital in conjunction with the University of Stellenbosch’s Health Science Faculty.

Because of its large geographical footprint and the vast number of visitors to the hospital daily, it has been difficult to prevent after-hours robberies and muggings. A lack of suitable surveillance and access equipment merely exacerbated the problem. Security officers were deployed throughout the premises, but without the ability to target events, success was minimal.

A phased rollout for a security improvement was approved and IDtek Solutions was contracted as the system integrator for Phase I. Phase I entailed the supply and installation of 161 Avigilon high-definition megapixel cameras. Phases II and III, which are scheduled to happen during the next three years, include additional cameras and plans to upgrade the current access control system.

Camera surveillance

The scope for IDtek Solutions called for six 16-megapixel cameras strategically placed on the roofs of the main buildings. High area coverage over the two main entrances, the areas of high traffic and the parking bays is provided. A further 133 1-megapixel dome cameras, seven 2-megapixel and 11 5-megapixel cameras are positioned at various locations inside the building. In addition, four 5-megapixel licence plate recognition (LPR) cameras have been placed at the main parking entrances, together with a boom gate, to provide the necessary checks should disputes occur regarding vehicle ownership.

Tygerberg Hospital also installed five Avigilon HD Network Video Recorders (NVR) to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage. The recording platform allows for a plug-and-play network video recording solution for managing multi-megapixel IP cameras. The storage capability is completely expandable which is vital to ever-growing installation.

Duane Viljoen from IDtek said that the company is currently training a third-party security company in the use of the cameras and the monitoring of the control room. “IDtek was also responsible for providing the HD network video management software and setting up the new control room in the old morgue. The control room, which is a new concept for the hospital, will be fully operational in August 2012.”

Philip Wolfaardt, deputy director at Tygerberg Hospital put the system to the test within two weeks of its installation. “Someone was stealing copper pipes out of the restrooms and after reviewing the recorder footage a clear image of the culprit was caught on camera. Leveraging the zooming capabilities of the Avigilon megapixel cameras, we were able to capture facial details that we immediately shared with security and staff.”

Tygerberg Hospital has also saved HR-related costs by leveraging the Avigilon HD Surveillance System to monitor employee performance. “We can now confidently resolve ‘he said/she said’ conflicts between patients and staff,” explained Wolfaardt.

Tygerberg Hospital uses the surveillance footage to resolve complaints, performance improvement issues, internal theft, and confrontations between patients and on site. “We have planned and designed the system so that we can add audio monitoring in certain areas to further improve customer service if we choose,” added Wolfaardt.

Safe for babies

In addition to the generalised surveillance system installed by IDtek, the company was also responsible for implementing a baby tracking system. BabyMatch incorporates an electronic RFI tag that is placed on the baby’s ankle and is linked to a tag on the mother’s wrist. Both tags are registered with the control room and can be readily linked to the access control system.

BabyMatch has been launched in South Africa to curb the increase in child abduction and the incorrect matching of mothers to infants, which can lead to the transmission of disease by way of breast-feeding. Tygerberg Hospital has installed the system as a preventative measure to ensure that the chances of this kind of incident occurring in the hospital are greatly reduced.

“When the baby passes the first receiver point an alarm is sent to the control room and cameras are mobilised to identify any risk. If the baby passes the second receiver point, the system activates a lockdown situation and all exit doors are immediately and automatically closed. Security officers are immediately dispatched to investigate the threat,” said Viljoen.

Viljoen pointed out that this is the first infant detection system to be installed in the Western Cape.

Viljoen believes that the Tygerberg Hospital needs a combination of both security officers and technology to manage its security risks. “There needs to be more focus on events driven risk management as opposed to the current emphasis on reactive guarding.


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