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Mobile Apps Add Healthy Dose Of Security For Northern New Jersey’s Largest Medical Center


St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, NJ, is a leading provider of healthcare services in northern New Jersey. St. Joseph’s operates multiple facilities, including an academic tertiary regional medical center, a comprehensive state designated children’s hospital, an acute care community hospital, a long-term skilled nursing home, and numerous ambulatory sites located throughout the region.

Tom Moore is systems coordinator in St. Joseph’s Security/Safety Department, overseeing technology and assisting the security department across all hospital campuses. “St. Joseph’s Healthcare System continues to grow in size and scope of service,” says Moore. “We recently completed construction of a 183,000 foot Critical Care Building on the Paterson campus and have opened new pediatric facilities in Hoboken and Paramus.”

When the hospital decided to update and standardize video surveillance and physical access control across all facilities, customization was a primary concern. After implementing exacq® Technologies exacqVision® Video Management System, the hospital chose to implement IDenticard’s PremiSys™ Access Control System. PremiSys is a highly-scalable system that fully integrates with exacqVision video and Schlage® AD-400 wireless locks, and features dynamic mapping, email notification, ID badging, photo recall, cardholder reporting and scheduler. It also integrates seamlessly with Mercury® Security hardware.

“The PremiSys system integrates well with exacq, giving us the ability to fully customize our system,” says Moore. “It gives us all of the features we want and the greatest options to support our organization’s ongoing expansion.”

“Integrating PremiSys and exacq gives us eyes on the situation with the ability to simultaneously view live and historical video side-by-side. We can manage full access control from the same console,” notes Moore. “Once we had the PremiSys Mobile App onboard, we could take management capabilities into the field with a smartphone, giving us full control of situations from any location.”

Setting Standards for Identification and Access

In conjunction with its IDenticard access control system, St. Joseph’s also chose to consolidate management of all employee ID badges with IDenticard PremiSys ID™ server-based badging software and badges. With input from multiple departments, the Human Resources Department created a standardized badge design that could be further customized as needed.

Today, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System’s Human Resources Department uses PremiSys ID to output customized badges and manage employee access by facility, department, floor, door, elevator, day, and time. Cardholder access can be updated in the system at any time, specific to the changing needs and requirements of each department and supervisor.

The hospital issues visitor badges for in-and-out vendors. However, recurring vendors are required to go through an orientation and receive photo IDs so the hospital can manage their access across all facilities.

“The different departments throughout St. Joseph’s are happier with our new access control capabilities,” says Moore. “It’s very beneficial to have the ability to provide access only to authorized employees and vendors.

“St. Joseph’s recently opened a new Critical Care Building that houses the Emergency Department and has a state-of-the-art helipad on the roof. We have to restrict access to those who are specially trained. An integration between the elevator company and PremiSys enables us to allow or restrict access to particular floors based on an individual’s department, job function, training and work schedule. As you can imagine, people are intrigued with the helipad, and some try very hard to find their way up, but PremiSys helps us monitor and control who can go up there and when. This is especially important with the helipad to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Working with the New PremiSys System

“Now, our access control and camera system links via our network servers, covering our entire extended campus,” says Moore. “PremiSys gave us the ability to customize a wide range of functions. Once we got used to our new options, we quickly realized that they made life a whole lot easier.

“Putting both systems together has really given us the opportunity to be on top of it. Now we have flat-screen monitors with the software and cameras all over the place, including nurse desk stations. With my cameras, I can view locations across the entire hospital. exacqVision gives us eyes where we need them in any situation so we can actually monitor what happens. We can even compare historical video with live viewing as it unfolds, and PremiSys gives us the ability to take control of the situation.”

Mobile Apps – Right There in Your Hands

“With the addition of PremiSys and exacqVision mobile apps, we have all the technology that the entire security system needs, right there in our hands,” says Moore. “It has simplified our abilities to troubleshoot, with both visibility and control right at our fingertips.”

That functionality has simplified Moore’s life in unexpected ways, too. “I used to get phone calls, at home at all hours when something was down or not working properly. There were many steps and multiple logins before I could begin troubleshooting. Now I just turn on my smartphone or tablet, click on the app and I’m in.”

Unintended Benefits – Reducing Claims, Losses, and Fraud

Moore notes that the PremiSys / exacqVision system has given St. Joseph’s a better opportunity to customize the monitoring of exterior perimeter areas that just couldn’t be accomplished with the previous system. As a result, the hospital has experienced some unintended benefits. Moore explains, “In addition to monitoring for visitor and patient safety, our system enables us to hone in on any potential burglaries and prevent false claims for lawsuits.”

St. Joseph’s also uses this new system to audit other system entries to ensure an accurate record of time and activities, reports Moore. For example, employees use their badges to clock in and out of the system, enabling accurate accounting of hours.

Growing Pains

Integrating a new system in the midst of ongoing construction across multiple new buildings and campuses has added challenges to the transition, Moore says. “We’ve installed five controllers in the area and have more than 150 doors. Most hospitals have some employees who can work across departments. We have about 12,000 people who are overseen by our system and it just keeps growing. Some employees work across multiple locations so the logistics for assigning and maintaining access are far more complicated. But our new system is a lot more user friendly.”

Access control for every one of the hospital’s campuses is linked via network servers. The entire access control and camera system is linked so Moore can control everything from the main servers in one centralized location.

Integrating for Future Needs

Implementing PremiSys and exacqVision with mobile apps has given Moore and the hospital an entirely new perspective on security and access control. “The mobile apps make it possible to do anything you need to do remotely – and instantly – on your cell phone or tablet,” says Moore. “For me, the larger-size of a tablet makes it a lot easier to log in, run full reports, check cameras, and if needed, I can even send footage.”

Moore believes that it’s important to stay on top of technology and to think ahead to future needs and requirements when considering a new system. “The PremiSys system is very, very customizable – to whatever your needs are. You can train it to do whatever you want it to do within its limits. If we want it to go beyond its limits, we can contact IDenticard and their engineers will work with us to update the system or build it with a future PremiSys update. PremiSys is constantly evolving with updates.”

Research thoroughly, recommends Moore. “In the end, the best system choice you can make is the one that will be most customizable to your current needs, with the technology and support to serve you throughout the long haul.”

IDenticard has been a leader in the manufacturing of identification and security products for more than 40 years. A division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC) with offices in both the United States and Canada, IDenticard is proud to serve over 22,000 customers around the world, including federal agencies, hospitals, universities and multiple Fortune 500 companies. IDenticard’s mission is to offer unparalleled sales, service and support to all of our customers.